1 April 2014

Increase Productivity & Wellness at the Same Time

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I'm just popping in quickly today with a message that I hope will inspire all you creative bunnies out there.

I've gotta be honest here - I haven't felt 'in flow' since I returned from Bali in November. That's 5 months of feeling unsettled, unfocued and creatively confused, but what I'm sharing in this video today about increasing productivity is helping me something severe.

If you know me, you'll know that a time management system isn't enough to get me juiced up and raring to go. It needs to be holistic. The system has to serve my soul in some way, rather than being just another anchor on my To Do list. And this, my friends, ticks all the boxes. Happy body, happy soul, happy sense of accomplishment. It's too good not to share.

If you want to increase productivity without jeapoardising your health and spiritual wealth, click play:

Here's those suggestions I mentioned in the video, plus a few more. Make those 5 minutes magical:

  • Sun salutations
  • Handstands against the wall
  • Dance/ shake/ get freaky break
  • Roll out your hips, hammies and butt on a foam roller
  • De-compress your spine on your exercise ball
  • Mini sweat sesh of pushups, sit ups, burpees and squats
  • Go nuts on a mini trampoline

And to take a different approach, ideas to increase productivity through relaxation:

  • Mini meditations
  • Child's pose
  • Lay on the floor with your feet up the wall
  • Place your hands upon your heart and breath into your palms
  • Meditatively prepare a cup of tea

Also, here are those apps I mentioned!


I hope this hits you right in the heart as we roll into a new week, and inspires you to bring a sense of fun and super-charged engagement to the work you're doing in the world - whether it's paid or not.

And incase you need reminding, yes, you really are worthy of a five minute break every half hour. Really.

Now, I'd love you to share this video with your peeps, and leave me a comment below - do you have any other rad ideas of mindful movement we can all incorporate into our magical five minutes? Be generous, and share below :)

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    • 1 April 2014

      I LOVE the Pomodoro technique. I wrote about it a while back: http://katiesmyth.com/productivity/how-do-you-stay-focussed-and-remain-productive/

      I think my very favourite way to spend my free five minutes is out with my dogs. They are always SO excited to see me no matter what. Their energy and affection is usually exactly what I need in the middle of my day.

    • Jessie Kavanagh
      1 April 2014

      This is a fantastic idea! Those Italians sure know how to live, and the apps sound like just what I need some days. I think my five minutes would involve much the same as your suggestions....with a few pincha's, dynamic twists, grounding in the green grass and sunshine and pots of tea thrown in ;) xo

    • Charmaine
      1 April 2014

      Oh god I love this, somehow I forgot all about this technique! As woman creating a start-up I will definitely be using this technique, and I think I'm going to spend my five minutes alternately cuddling my cats, dancing, and stretching my hamstrings- I want to touch my toes by June!

    • 1 April 2014

      I love this video and all of the beautiful ideas you have to help re-charge ourselves during that five minute break! But what really spoke to my heart was the beginning few paragraphs about feeling "unsettled, unfocused, and creatively confused" (I have felt the same way and couldn't have worded it better myself) AND what you said about time management systems just not being enough. You need something holistic. Ah, I thought I was the only one!

      It always helps knowing we're not alone when we're hacking away at our businesses and other creative pursuits. So glad I have some wonderful, new, holistic ideas to try out next time! xo

    • 1 April 2014

      Great message. I love all these suggestions.

      Perhaps, rubbing some essential oil into your palms and breathing it in. Relaxing, calming, uplifting, refreshing, whatever it is you need.

    • 1 April 2014

      I love love love the pomodoro technique! It's so amazing what you can get done in just 25 minutes of focused attention. And I'm all for a bit of boogying in between sessions.

      Thanks for this great vlog - you're such a natural in front of the camera! xx

    • Irena
      1 April 2014

      I'm excited to give this a try! Thanks Tara:)xx

    • Asja
      1 April 2014

      This is so my kind of deal..naturally! My yoga mat is next to my desk and foam roller not too far away from that. I have only just recently leaned into the fact that 30 mins are my max, and my productivity has shot through the roof the more I pay attention to that, reframed it as 'my awesome 3o mins' rather than saying that 'i have the attention span of a newt'. You are a gem x

    • Mel
      1 April 2014

      Thanks Tara for sharing this technique - love it! Just what I need to hear right now.......I just need to persuade myself that housework does not count as a five minute self-nurturing practice!! xxx

    • 1 April 2014

      What a beautiful productivity technique this is! I can't wait to begin using it. I have a difficult time sticking to a meditation practice and I love how easy it will be to fit it in now.

      Something else You could do for the 5 minutes is some journaling. You could also meditate with a focus on your dream board, if you have one.

    • 2 April 2014

      Totally needed to hear this! In book writing bonkers too and just love the 5 min thing. Starting it now <3

    • Katie
      2 April 2014

      This is EXACTLY what I needed from you (and even emailed you about)! How to balance the expectations of productivity and success as an entrepreneur with the goals of self-love and self-care. THANK YOU!

      I really like this idea and I really like the specific suggestions you were giving. I was already doing a form of this, but I didn't realize it. Whenever it was time to get more tea or green juice I would use those few minutes to change the atmosphere. I would walk tall to the kitchen, smile to myself, calm my muscles and take deep breaths.

      What I like about your explanation today is the idea of staying truly focused for 25 minutes. It seems like such a short period of time, but I can get a lot done in that time. When I am really inspired I can easily write a blog post or newsletter in under 25 minutes.

      I feel empowered now that I have the tools and intention to do this right.

    • 2 April 2014

      Tara, this is as brilliant as simple as it is. I will totally incorporate this in my work, starting NOW :)
      Thank you!

    • 2 April 2014

      Tara thank you for this wonderful reminder of how to be productive - but not at the expense of our well being.

      When I used to be studying hard core for professional accounting exams I would study for 50 minutes then take a 10 minute break. That never quiet worked for me though as at about 45 minutes I would begin to get restless and watch the clock. I think working in 20 minute blocks would be a better fit. I am writing an e book at the moment so will try this technique today!

      In my breaks one of my favourite things to do is to have a cuddle and wrestle with my dog or the cat ( ok..maybe not wrestle with cat). Spending time with them helps me focus in on the present moment and their unconditional love, peace and sense of fun is highly contagious. Plus they are super adorable and soft :) Thanks Tara xx

    • 3 April 2014

      Thank you so much Tara for sharing this with us -- & it's perfect timing for me. More self-care totally = more productivity....a break is so crucial.

    • Vicki
      6 April 2014

      Perfectly said and perfectly timed as usual!! Just downloaded Self Control, already feels like a game changer! xx

      • Tara
        9 April 2014

        You will LOVE it!

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