Tell me if this convo’s ever happened to you.
Them: “Hey, how’ve you been?”
You: “Good. Busy, but good.”
But are you good?
And are you mayyybbeeee busy for the sake of being busy?
Little bit of a #truthbomb there for ya.
Here’s the thing about that word, busy… it seems important, right.
Being busy means we have:
“Busy” is a status... a symbol of exclusivity.
But if we’re all sooooo busy… is it that exclusive?
And more importantly, is it worth it?
Or are we all just going nowhere fast?
Well, it depends what you’re busy with. AKA what you spend your time on.
And, if you create pockets of “unbusy” time for yourself.
Because here’s what I’ll tell ya:
Creativity, ideas, and inspiration come from a place of stillness.
I mean, if you’re too busy grinding away on the daily, how are you supposed to come up with what’s next for you?
You’re probably not.
You probably get that ZING of inspiration when you’re doing “unproductive” things.
I literally get my best ideas when I’m:
In the shower or taking a bubble bath.
Taking a class (Pilates, HIIT, spin, and yoga are my favs).
Sleeping or about to fall asleep.
It’s not when I’m sitting digging into my to-do list.
That’s why the go-go-go “must do all.the.things” mentality is killing your productivity.
You’re probably spending time on shiz that doesn’t matter.
And not allowing space for freshness to come in.
In your biz.
In your fam.
In your friggin life.
Being busy AF isn’t making you better.
It’s stressing you out.
Which means you’re probably adding more “busy-ness” to try to keep up with the inefficiencies.
Hello, vicious circle.
So, let’s talk today about 4 hacks to add more “unproductive” time into your life.
This will help you get super clear on what you actually need to be busy on yourself, what’s unnecessary, and how to get through those legit busy periods without losing your friggin mind.
How to Become More Productive By Being “Unproductive”
Hack #1: Balance your beta waves.
You know that feeling when you’re in the flow?
You’re on a roll with work.
You’re super focused.
You’re alert, awake, and feeling efficient.
You’re rocking through complex thought processes, like calculations, biz planning, killing it in meetings, making decisions… basically, getting shiz done like a boss.
This “work mode” is actually the effects of beta brain waves.
Beta waves are the brain’s electric frequencies that control our outward focus and cognitive functions. Things like problem solving and holding intellectual conversations.
Psst: you’re probably activating beta waves as you’re reading this. You’re welcome. LOL
So beta waves…
They’re a good thing, right?
Well, yes and no.
While it is an important mode for us to be in (at appropriate times), people who live in this state or stay in it for too long experience:
Any of those sound familiar?
Yep, and it’s a one-way ticket to burnout.
So how do you fix this? How do you balance your brain wave state every day?
You take a break.
I know, I know.
You’re saying, “OMG, when do I have time to take a break?”
I get it – I do.
But taking control of your time and your energy will not only help you succeed – and actually be more productive with your beta brain wave time – but it’ll give you the foundation to a stronger you.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself right now:
Where is the bulk of my energy spent on a daily basis?
What can I delegate, or even better, automate?
Is this the most effective way to reach my goal or desire?
Be super honest and open – even with yourself.
Imagine a friend were doing this exercise, with you as the observer.
Would you instantly see opportunities for her to stop doing some of the things that were on her plate? Or a way to still get it done more with less effort?
I bet you would.
Or, if practicing this on yourself is too tough, actually DO IT with a friend whose opinion you trust.
The key is to be willing to try out a new approach.
Knowing where your beta wave time is going now helps you set the stage to balance it by getting creative with how to carve our periods of “non-doing” for yourself…
...With the ultimate goal is using those beta waves for the most important work on your list.
Hack #2: Put neuroplasticity to work.
So speaking of new approaches, this is where neuroplasticity becomes your friend.
But what the heck is it?
Well, like plastic, your brain can be shaped and transformed by creating new pathways, experiencing new things, or meeting new people.
Meaning, we never stop learning.
So you can still make changes to your habits and practices – no matter how old you are.
Your brain is literally made for this.
Through repetition, you’re making those new pathways even stronger and the habits become easier for you to complete.
This is why they say “practice makes perfect”... because you’ve strengthened that response in your brain over time, making the action second nature.
So when you’re practicing GOOD habits… you’re training your brain to make it easier and easier.
And when you’re living with BAD habits… well, same thing.
Being in a constant state of stress, overwhelm, and “dis-ease” is literally rewiring your brain to stay in that cycle.
Here’s where changing your habits… one at a time… goes a long way to making yourself more productive by being less (outwardly) productive.
How it works:
Once you’ve identified where you’re spending your time during the day and what you can do differently...
It’s time to put it into practice.
Make ONE change to your processes or schedule at a time.
And repeat that ONE THING over and over.
Usually for a few weeks.
You’ll probably notice that once it becomes a habit, you won’t have to think about it as much.
That’s neuroplasticity kicking in.
Once you feel like you’ve got that new habit on lock, add in another one from your list.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Neuroplasticity will help you streamline your new habits so you’re eventually doing more with less effort, freeing up even more time and space for your next big evolution.
Hack #3: Feed your brain.
Nutrition plays a huge factor in wellness.
And there are some really awesome foods you can add to your diet that supercharge your brain to do more with less effort.
I mean, you have to eat anyway, right?
Might as well add productivity-friendly foods to the menu.
5 of my fav healthy-brain foods
1. Blueberries – These superfoods are high in antioxidants that are not only great for brain health but they’re yummy too.
2. Turmeric – This go-to ingredient boosts serotonin and dopamine (aka your feel-good hormones) and it’s anti-inflammatory.
3. Broccoli – Did you know your brain needs calcium? Yep, it’s not just for bones and teeth. Low vitamin K is being studied as a factor in cognitive diseases like Alzheimers. Since broccoli is loaded with vitamin K, it’s ideal for brain health.
4. Avocado – Avo toast has become my go-to lunch for the last several weeks. The healthy fats reduce high blood pressure and resist cognitive decline, so you can stay mentally sharp longer.
5. Oranges – Yep, oranges are high in both antioxidants and Vitamin C which make them amazing for your brain!
Hack #4: Self-regulate using the Box Breath technique.
This method of breathing is used in meditation, yogic practices, and even special forces training.
You got that right.
Even Navy Seals use this technique to improve their focus, calm their heart rate, and boost their concentration.
It’s really easy, and you can do it right now.
Step 1: Take a deep breath in, drawing air deep into your lungs for a count of 4 seconds.
Step 2: Hold that breath for a count of 4 seconds. Really feel that energy.
Step 3: Exhale, forcing all of that air out for a count of 4 seconds. One, two, three, four.
Step 4: Hold on empty for a count of 4 seconds.
See how this is like a box?
If it helps, you can even imagine a box as you do it.
I recommend repeating this for a few minutes. Take note of the changes in your body and allow your mind to be at ease.
Shifting your energy and your focus allows you to slide back into productive-mode.
Not only are you increasing circulation (that tingly-warm sensation), you’re making an energetic shift. Box breathing can help you get back to the present, the NOW.
I love this technique because it helps to instantly alter my energy and refocus my concentration.
This is a prime example of “doing nothing” to actually be more productive.
Lately I’ve been spending a ton of time talking about doing more with less efforts.
In fact, it’s my mantra for 2021.
Habit Hackers is all about hacking your habits and building routines to increase productivity.
So you can still love your full, amazing life… and actually have time for yourself.
I’d love to know what you think about being “unproductive” as a way to actually be more productive.
Hit me up on social and share your thoughts.
I’ll see ya online.