How to Be More Productive

P18A9498Do you remember your most productive day? What helped you stay focused and achieve your goals? I am sure you have several amazing tricks of your own. However, let me share with you my struggles and ideas first.

10 days ago I declared my personal war with procrastination and self-indulgence. There are only 24 hours in a day. Each minute is a gift, each second is precious. How dare we waste the moments of our life that we’ll never get back? Each moment is lived only once. I will never be 39 years 4 months 22 days old again. Ever!

My last several months have been a brutal struggle with procrastination. One day is amazingly productive, yet another one is a complete disaster. It exhausted me, annoyed me and ignited a burning desire to conquer this beast. That’s why my natural feistiness inspired me to start this personal war and invite others to keep me accountable.

So, here are a few things that usually help me stay productive throughout the day. These are not new ideas, although I need to remind myself of their importance regularly.

1.  Momentum

I am sure you’ve heard this physics term used in the area of business, achieving goals and success. When you start working on a task and suddenly find yourself engrossed in it, forgetting about time, that’s your momentum. You should catch it like a wave and ride it as far as possible.

Sometimes I would start writing a blog, preparing a lesson, working on a course, and the world around me ceases to exist. The work flows easily and without distractions, ideas come fast, and the process is enjoyable. This is momentum. I always have to remind myself to take the most of it and not waste this precious moment of inspiration.

2.  Focus

My biggest challenge and most important goal these days is focus. Momentum definitely helps to stay focused, but it doesn’t come first, it’s the result of a focused mind. Eliminate distractions, stay on a task without switching to another one, let the ideas flow and let the momentum kick in.

However, in my life focus is more than just working without interruptions. There are so many passions I want to pursue, so many causes my heart aches for! At the same time, my business, work and ministry throw numerous responsibilities at me. As a result, it’s getting harder, but also more crucial to stay focused.

3.  Pressure

All people are different. Perhaps, for somebody the pressure of a deadline is stressful and overwhelming. For me, a chronicle procrastinator, it’s a safe boat. I set deadlines for myself if nobody does it for me, and then, it’s up to pressure to play the role of a motivator.

In conclusion, let’s look at all three points. What’s your favorite? Mine is number one – momentum. It’s the most enjoyable one!

What are your techniques and methods to stay productive? Please share in the comments and help me in my war with procrastination. You can keep me accountable following my Instagram account – natasha_baz.

To Sleep or Not to Sleep, That Is The Question

150513194606-01-better-sleep-exlarge-169It’s not really a question, whether we should sleep or not. A lot of research proves that sleep is extremely important for being able to function normally during the day. However, the biggest question for me is – how much and when.

Should I sleep 7-8 hours like Arianna Huffington and many others suggest? Or should I sleep 5-6 hours like many successful entrepreneurs claim they do? When should we go to bed and when is it better to wake up? There are so many controversial opinions, and all of them seem credible. How can we choose the right answer for us?

As a matter of fact, having read a lot of articles and books on productivity, I can say that everything is individualized. We all should experiment and find our own perfect magic number.

How much?

In fact, in the last two years I’ve been experimenting with sleep and got interesting results. It seems my perfect number is 6.15 – 6 hours, 15 minutes. Presumably, this is the amount of sleep that my body needs to feel rested and wake up energized. Several experiments showed that sleeping even a few minutes longer made me groggy and tired. However, there were cases when I slept 5 hours 15 minutes or 7 hours 15 minutes, and the result was also not bad.

When?

Another question arises – when should we go to bed and wake up? I think it depends on your schedule. Some people can go to bed early because they are home after 6. For others (like me) it’s impossible because we come home from work after 10. In the same way, it’s hard to state one perfect formula for getting up in the morning.

Another set of my experiments proved that going to bed before 12 am helps to sleep more efficiently. I wake up more rested than after going to bed at 2 am, even if the amount of sleep was less.

Conclusions

All things considered, we can make a conclusion – every person is unique. You should try to experiment and find your own formula of efficient sleep.

Share with us in the comments below what is the best time for you to go to bed and wake up. How much do you usually sleep? Is it easy for you to get out of bed?

Why I Decided to Become a Morning Person or How To Boost Your Productivity

ringing-alarm-clock-28496894People keep asking me why I would want to torture myself and get up early in the morning when I always was a night owl. Why would I want to change my natural way of existence and start doing something that doesn’t come that easy? I will tell you why!

I am not saying everybody should do it. A lot of people are satisfied with the way things are in their life. I wasn’t. At a certain point I realized there wasn’t enough time in my day and something had to change.

No, this is my biggest reason to become a morning person – NEED FOR CHANGE.

I always knew staying up till 2 am and sleeping till 9 or 10 wasn’t the best choice. I would wake up groggy, take too much time for psyching up before actually starting my work. However, I had justified it by calling myself a night owl and saying – that’s just how my body works. The truth is – I didn’t have a big enough reason and a need for change.

So, about 2 years ago I got a dream and with it came a reason. To make that dream come true I needed more hours in my working day. Where can I get them? – I asked myself. And the answer was easy – go to bed at 11 pm (those late hours had been spent aimlessly most of the time anyway) and wake up at 6 am. Immediately, I received 3 extra hours in the morning for reading, prayer, exercise and preparation for the working day. It made so much difference to start the day right. Productivity boost was incredible.

If you feel you don’t have enough time to get everything done; if you would like to change your life and achieve bigger goals; if you have an ambitious dream, but it seems unrealistic because your life is a mess, start waking up earlier. Get your life in order. Read, eat, sleep and exercise. And what’s more important – do it right.

 

 

Start Your Day Right!

Have I already told you about the “Miracle Morning’ book by Hal Elrod? It will be surprising if I haven’t. Last summer I stumbled upon this book in one of the articles on the Internet. It was recommended for those who want to become more disciplined, take hold of their life and improve productivity. I had recently started my business and it was just what I needed.

As it turns out, the inspiration that we get from reading self-help literature usually doesn’t last long. It’s crucial to keep reminding ourselves of our vision, mission and goals in life. Only constant focus on my main purpose helps me beat the desire to sleep in the morning. Sometimes the battle is agonizing. Sometimes the bed is too luring for me, and it wins the battle. However, when I remember what drives me in this life, why I was created in the first place, it’s easier to fight and win.

As soon as the battle is over and the morning begins, everything is easy. Hal Elrod gives several very important tips on how to start our day right. Some of these tips include drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, forget about the snooze button, create our personal morning routine, etc. These are not new ideas or techniques, but he explains everything in a very motivational way.

If you haven’t read this book and would really love to change your life, become more productive, successful and just plain happier – read it by all means!!! And what’s more important, start implementing it right away. You will see changes in your life, I have no doubt in that!

Challenges Can Be Fun!

Don’t you just love  challenges? Life would be so boring without having to overcome obstacles and coming up with creative ways of solving problems. Think about your favorite movies and books. Every hero in a great story has to go through hardships and endure all kinds of difficulties to finally achieve the ultimate goal of their life.

Did you know that it costs about $60,000 to climb Mount Everest? It’s deadly dangerous too. And still there are lots of people every year that want to challenge themselves to that. Why? I think it’s in our nature to always strive for the heights, to have a constant desire for growth. And there is usually no growth without tests and trials.

Don’t be afraid of challenges. Embrace them. Understand them. Overcome them. Use them for your growth and future success. They are for sure our blessings in disguise!

Take Action

Are you a dreamer or a doer?

There are so many incredible ideas in the world waiting to be implemented. There are so many talented creative people dreaming big, but failing to take action. So, their dreams remain only dreams; their ideas are not shared with the rest of the world. People continue depriving humanity of possible unique inventions, pieces of art, interesting solutions to the problems.

Why?

  • They don’t believe in themselves.
  • They are afraid to lose face in case of a failure.
  • They are lazy and passive.
  • They don’t think it’s a unique idea and think someone else must have had it.
  • They had tried before and it didn’t work.
  • They have no time for this now.

There are so many reasons, and all of them are just excuses. Do you know the remedy for that? TAKE ACTION! Whatever it takes! Failed? Try again. Fell? Get up and start over! Move, act, try and you will achieve!

Travel Away

p18a5347“Why do you travel?”  – I asked my best friend who has been to 54 countries of the world.  “To get new eyes, – she said and quoted Marcel Proust, – ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Maia told me that each trip to a new destination helps her understand herself better. It also results in rediscovering the life and people back home and helps to see them in a new light.

How many countries have YOU visited? Which parts of the world are you yet to see? Our beautiful planet is an incredible gift from the Creator. We live our busy life cramming it with very urgent and important things, but so often we forget to live. You might have so many legitimate excuses not to travel, but all of them will crack and break like shattered glass when faced with powerful reasons:

  1. Travel for personal growth. Every country will reveal something new for you, every person you meet will make your heart a little bigger.
  2. Travel to learn. Each culture is unique and amazingly beautiful, each little place on earth has huge potential to broaden our worldview and expand our knowledge.
  3. Travel for success. Each trip abroad helps you become more interesting as a personality. It gives you edge in negotiations, increases your chances for promotion or for getting a new job.
  4. Travel to help less fortunate. There are so many places in the world that need our help. Go on a mission trip, and it will change your life as well as the lives of those you help!
  5. Travel to capture the beauty. Take your camera on a journey with you and start creating memories. Become an artist without a brush, become a creator of moments and share them with the world.
  6. Travel to make new friends. Each person you encounter on your journey may become a good friend for you. Each friend you make has the potential to bring the whole new world into your life.
  7. Travel to practice the language you’re learning. Need to practice Spanish? Go to Latin America, Spain or Portugal. Would like to become more fluent in English? Great Britain or USA will give you lots of opportunities to dive into the culture and feel the language from within.

Let’s go on a 5-day language tour to New York City with us. You will not only get English classes with the native speaker but will have a chance to immerse into American culture, see the best sights, try awesome food and visit famous places where most popular movies were shot!

New York Language Tour

And remember – if it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse. Not enough money? Stop spending them for unnecessary clothes or stuff. Not enough time? Become more organized, get up earlier to get more things done.

So, now it’s your turn. Make a list of countries you would want to visit in your life. Share with us at least three of them in the comments below. And start planning your trip!