“If you don’t schedule your day, someone will schedule it for you.”
– Nir Eyal, author of the book Indestractable, talking to Quartz.
Breathe Your Way To Calm
Breathing exercises are a handy tool to have up your sleeve. Pull one out when you’re anxious or stressed: they’re easy to learn, effective, and you can do them anywhere.
One of the simplest ways to change your breathing is by extending your exhale. For example, try counting to four while you inhale, then blowing the air out slowly for a count of eight.
Another exercise is the five finger breathing described here. Simply trace up and down each finger on your hand as you breathe in and out.
Here are 8 more breathing exercises you can try. Next time anxiety strikes or you want to relax, why not give one a go?
Harvard Business Review calls time-boxing the “single most important skill or practice you can possibly develop as a modern professional.” Big call? In a study they conducted of 100 productivity hacks, time-boxing was ranked as the #1 most useful.
What is it: Taking tasks out of your to-do list and scheduling blocks of time in your calendar to complete them.
Why it works: It helps you prioritize, forces you to single-task, imposes deadlines so you work more efficiently, and keeps you motivated with regular feelings of accomplishment.
How to do it: Use your calendar or Panda Planner daily schedule to box up your tasks. Each task needs to be planned, executed, and evaluated. Check out some more detailed guides here and here, and let us know how you go!
Rebecca Soni, US Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming
Healthy mornings are imperative for an Olympic swimmer. Here’s how Rebecca Soni starts her days:
- Wakes up at 5:30 am.
- Does a few rounds of deep breathing to help her wake up.
- Starts the day with a workout. “I run, swim, paddleboard, or do some yoga.”
- Has breakfast and coffee. “I try to eat breakfast (typically a bowl of oatmeal, with a ton of fruit on top) before opening the phone or computer, instead of multitasking.”
Why it works:
- Research agrees that rising early has lots of benefits.
- Breathing exercises work: see above!
- We’ll say it again: morning exercise is awesome.
- By avoiding her devices while eating breakfast, Soni can eat more mindfully.
As you probably know by now, multitasking is a myth. But it’s easy to forget that this applies to simple activities like eating. By giving meals our full attention, we can avoid overeating, get back in touch with physical hunger cues, and enjoy our food more.
Have you tried mindful eating yet?