In today's world everyone seems to be SUPER busy.
Whether it's going to events, the gym, preparing meals, nights out with friends, work – it's like we barely get a minute to ourselves.
Yet, when we are run down or are feeling low, it's hard to know where to put the blame.
A million and one quotes (and now memes) have been written about the value of time and how precious it is. But I think the real question is, how can we make the most of it? Is it running ourselves ragged between work and play or is it taking a small bit of time out for ourselves to recuperate and recover?
Performance vitamin Berocca teamed up with health and wellness expert Pat Divilly to see how people can boost their productivity from day to day.
Pat's outstanding story saw him leap from having to borrow bus fare from his father to return home to Galway and then beginning his business with fitness classes on Barna beach to his current occupation which sees him give motivational speeches all over the world.
We asked Pat what we think are the most important things to consider in our lives, and how we can boost our moods and productivity in just a few simple steps:
1. A lot of people work with websites, social media, computers, etc nowadays and find it hard to break away when they have time off? What's your advice for stepping away from your laptop/mobile screen?
Sit in any restaurant and you'll see couples, groups of friends, colleagues or families buried in their phones. We've become so used to constant busyness and distraction that we need to re-train ourselves to be comfortable away from the 'noise'. We all lives busy lives but 10 minutes of time with a loved one without a phone in your hand would mean a lot more than 60 minutes of giving a small fraction of your attention to them.
In terms of switching off from work in the evening, when I'm working I'm working and when I'm off I'm off. I used to find myself buried in work but in the back of mind thinking about my plans for the evening. Then, when with family and friends I'd often find myself distracted thinking about work I didn't finish. Most of us spend so much time in that grey area that we need to find an off time in the evening where we switch off from work mode. That'll mean less procrastination and distraction during the work day but the off time gives us a goal time to get our work polished off!
2. One of your tips is to "know what you want from life." For people who might not know, or who are struggling to find their vocation, what road would be the best to go down?
One great way of looking at this is to identify times in your life where you've been at your happiest and seeing what sort of vocation could provide some of these experiences or similar feelings. For example if you're happiest times were travelling and meeting new people is there a way you could pursue these kind of experiences in your work life?
Most of us spend our lives working crazy hours to have the money to do the things we love in our spare time. So what if you could find work that allowed you to pursue at least some of your passions during your work day?
Another great exercise is to write out in detail what your perfect average day would look like in as much detail as possible. Who would you live with and where? What would you do for work and what type of people would you work with? What would you do in your spare time? This exercise can open people’s eyes to the reality that this 'perfect day' oftentimes isn't as far away as they think and is financially within reach.
3. When faced with hard tasks in work, and indeed, life, what's the best way to move forward and face the challenges?
I think in any area of life when things go pear shaped our gut reaction is to focus on the negative aspect of the issue. People often dismiss positive thinking as 'airy fairy' but to me positive thinking is saying- “Yes this has gone very badly, how can I make things better” rather than dwelling on the problem. Whatever we focus on tends to magnify. So if you focus on a loved one’s negative traits you'll only see the negatives in them even though there are plenty of positives. The same with a problem. Focusing on the problem is like looking in the rear view mirror. To move forward you've got to focus on the solution, or the windscreen!
4. Would you have any advice for people who are unhappy in their job and want to change it?
For those who are unhappy in current job but unsure of their next move I think the best thing someone can do is commit 100% for 30 days to giving their job everything they can. We can get dejected and frustrated with work, go through the motions and focus on the negatives. With work taking up 1/3 of our lives I think we need to do everything in power to enjoy our work day as best we can.
So for 30 days even if unhappy in the workplace focus on being the most helpful, friendly and enthusiastic employee in the job. Giving your job (regardless of how you currently feel about it) everything for 30 days will massively increase your confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
5. What's your top 3 tips for getting through a rough day and finding the purpose behind it all?
Acknowledge and help those around you. Generally when are stressed or miserable it boils down to us being too focused on ourselves and our problems. When we look to help and acknowledge those around us it takes us out of our own heads and gives us a sense of pride.
A gratitude journal is a great way of shifting your mode from negative to positive. It's easy to see other people’s highlight reel lifestyles on social media and feel hard done by, but when we begin writing down all the things we are grateful for in life it shows us how lucky we really are.
Along with the gratitude journal it's great to write down a way you could have made the day better and 3 small steps you can take the next day to get you back on track.