Are You Really Being Productive?

Are you in control of time?
Or is time controlling you?

We want to achieve as much as we can within the 24 hours that we have daily.

And we get anxious when we don’t get to complete what we set out to do for the day.

The busier we get, the unhappier and more stressed we become.

We don’t have time for the things that matter in our lives.
We stress ourselves out and constantly worry about the work we have to get done.
And we’re just being very busy without actually being productive.

But there’s a difference between being productive and being busy.

You could be very busy on a particular day and have a work output level of just 10%.
Not very productive.

You could be very busy on another day and have a work output level of 60%.
Actually productive.

But how do you ensure that you get the most out of your working sessions?
How do you get the most bang for your buck when you’re working?

It’s all about working on the things that bring the most value to your day.

If you ever feel like your day was wasted even though it seemed like you did a lot of stuff, it’s probably because you were working on the small stuff that didn’t matter as much.

Let’s say you have 10 things to do within a day, ask yourself which of those tasks you would do if you could only complete 3 of them.

Because those 3 tasks are the ones you should focus on and get done first before doing anything else.

Completing those 3 most important tasks will bring the most value to your workday.

It’s much better to complete those 3 most important tasks rather than to complete the other 7 not-so-important tasks.

So the next time you’re looking through your to-do list, ask yourself first what 3 tasks are the most important for the day.

And don’t work on anything else until those 3 are done.

Relating it to a business context, this is also why managers and executives delegate their work to others.

They have a lot of stuff going on that it’s impossible for them to do everything.

So what do they do?

Delegate the not-so-important tasks to their subordinates or certain apps.

Especially repetitive ones.

Then they put in their time and focus on the more important tasks.

I know some of us don’t have the privilege of delegating our work to others.

But the least we can do is to adopt the same mindset.

The time we have is limited.
Spend it wisely.



Replace negative self-talk.
Replace negative thoughts.

Tell yourself that there’s no room for negativity in your mind to exist.

There’s no time and purpose for it.

When your mind says, “I’m fat”.
Replace that thought with, “I’m perfect”.

When your mind says, “I’m a failure”.
Replace that thought with, “I can do it”.

Substitute that negative thought with a positive one.

Our minds can only focus on one thought at a time.

So when your mind is fixated on a negative thought, snap it out by substituting the negative thought with a positive one.

And repeat it over and over again.

Even if there aren’t any negative thoughts playing through your mind, just repeat some positive affirmations.

You’ll build a healthier state of mind.

“I’m awesome”.
“I’m perfect the way I am”.
“I can do anything I set my mind to”.

And you can’t say these without feeling good about yourself at the same time too.

You’ll feel uplifted.
You’ll be motivated.
And you’ll be magnetic to others too.

People will naturally gravitate towards your positive energy.

But if you let those negative thoughts have their way and you allow them to linger in your mind, the complete opposite happens.

You’ll be stressed, worried and develop unnecessary anxiety for yourself.
You’ll spend time worrying instead of getting things done.
You’ll have a weaker immune system from all the stress and worrying.

This will manifest naturally and others around you will pick up on it.

They start treating you more negatively based on the bad vibes they’re getting from you and you wonder why people don’t seem to like you.

Unhealthy self-talk and mental attitudes are major causes of stress and anxiety.

The mind has a way of making things look worse than they seem.

The mind also has the ability to do the opposite.

It’s all dependent on your thoughts and how you deal with them.

Self-actualised individuals with exceptionally high self-esteem are good examples of people who exhibit very strong and positive mental attitudes.

Will Smith, Connor McGregor, Oprah Winfrey are just a few of these people.

Tell yourself that you will not allow negative self-talk to occur any longer.

At the end of the day, it’s about becoming the best version of yourself.

And a healthy mental attitude is a big step towards that.

Take it one thought at a time.

Why You Need To Correct Your Posture.

We’re living in a day and age where we’re required to sit in front of computer screens for hours on end.

We develop hunched shoulders, rounded backs and just poor overall posture.

But it doesn’t just stop there.

We get fatigued more easily.
We develop pain in our lower backs.
We move less and become less healthy.

Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the world.

And it also leads to poor performance at work or school.

We’re not meant to sit in front of computer screens all day long.

We didn’t use to work like this 20 years ago.

But that’s just part of evolution and what we’re facing now as technology progresses and more of our jobs require us to sit at desks from 9 am to 5 pm every day.

Do we have worse posture than people did 20 years ago?

It turns out, we actually do.

The rising prevalence of chronic low back pain is a testament to the postural problem we face today.

More and more of us are developing it.

We can’t obviously go back 20 years in time.

But we can attempt to replicate some of the things that people back then did.

And one of the things that they did that we don’t is that they moved a lot more than we did since their jobs required less sitting.

This means taking frequent breaks and moving around when you’re working.

Start stretching more too.

Get that blood circulation going and loosen up those tense muscles and joints.

And it goes without saying that you should always be aware of when you’re slouching and straighten yourself up.

When we were young, our mums have always told us to straighten our backs when we sit.

We should heed that advice more than ever now.



It’s easy to focus when no one’s bothering you in the morning.

But what about when it’s the early afternoon?

After you’ve had your lunch, feeling that slight drowsiness kick in.
Co-workers coming up to chat with you every now and then.
Calls, emails and text messages constantly streaming in.

It can get very distracting.

And you might find yourself being very unproductive at the end of a long day.

So what can you do about it?

1. The Midday Slump

You know that drowsiness you get in the afternoon?

There are a couple of things you can do about this. Both to prevent it from occurring in the first place and also what to do when it already occurs.

Have a lighter meal during your lunch break.
Cut down on the carbs in your meal.
Go out for a walk when you feel the drowsiness hits.
Drink a lot of water.

If your work environment permits it, have a short 20-minute nap to recharge.

2. Emails and Messages

Check your emails only once or twice throughout the day. It could be once in the morning, then a second one in the afternoon. You don’t want your attention to be diverted to your email every half an hour or so. That’s tiring.

Messages are a little different since they sort of require an immediate reply compared to emails. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to immediately open up a message the moment you receive one. It’s okay to leave them and get to them later.

You don’t want your attention to be divided when you need to focus on something important. That’s only going to distract you from completing what you need to do.

3. Co-workers and Peers

This is probably one of the hardest to address. Mainly because there’s a possibility that others could take it the wrong way and be offended if we tell them that we don’t want to be bothered while we’re getting our work done. The best way to go about doing this would be to just be indirect, hope that they’ll get the hint and leave you to your work.

In the middle of a conversation, throw something out along the lines of,
“*Sigh* okay maybe it’s time to get back to work I’ve got a lot of stuff to clear anyway”, instead of telling them to go away.

If they still don’t get the hint, start to gradually pay less attention to them during the conversation and act like you’re busy with something.

These tips don’t always guarantee that you’ll get your work done faster.

A lot of times it would and that’s great.

But that’s actually not the point.

What’s more important is strengthening your willpower and focus.

That ultimately determines your overall productivity.

And this can only be done by actively avoiding distractions.

Distractions from your phone, people around you, or anything.

And I’ll admit that it’s tough sometimes.

But it’s just like a muscle.

The more you train it, the stronger and more useful it becomes.

Get rid of the distractions.
Get quality work done.
Stress less.

It’s about saying no to the things that don’t matter and saying yes to the things that do.

Why You Need Nature NOW.

Take some time out of your day to be around nature.

If you’re always being surrounded by people and buildings, you need this even more.

We don’t think much about nature since we’re so busy.

But there are benefits to being around and in nature that we’re overlooking.

Studies and research have shown that nature heals and soothes.

It reduces our feelings of anxiety, stress and worries.

Nature has also healed people with depression, anxiety and other forms of diseases/disorders.

It might not necessarily be the cure for such disorders but nature helps a great deal.

But if for some reason you can’t be around nature, having a simple plant in your environment makes a big difference to your overall well-being.

When it comes to productivity, research has shown that having some form of greenery in the office or working environment increases work output by 15%.

Another study was conducted to measure the effects that plants have on stress and anxiety levels.

It turns out that anxiety, fatigue, depression and hostility were all reduced by at least 35%!

Just by having some plants around.

And it makes sense.

We were designed to connect with nature.

It’s built in us.

And we need more contact with nature more than ever now.

We’re neglecting our need to be with nature the busier we get and the more we’re consuming technology.

More of our activities are going indoors.

We spend most of our time glued to a screen.

And we spend time outdoors in nature lesser and lesser.

Do yourself a huge favour.

Go out for more walks without being distracted by your phone.
Buy some potted plants (or artificial ones) and put them in your house or work environment.
And Immerse yourself in nature in some way.

Your mind and body will thank you for it.

1 Simple Tip to Prevent Depression.

We tend to think a lot more and overanalyse things when we’re not busy.

I’ve experienced this from time to time and I’m sure some of you have too.

I don’t have much to do for the day. I laze around in my bed. I find myself thinking about things a bit too much.

And it’s not fun at all.

It does more harm than good.

It’s good if the thoughts are positive but not when the thoughts are all negative.

Think too much about the negative thoughts and your mood starts to change for the worse.

You start feeling even more sluggish. Your mood is ruined.  You don’t feel like doing anything. You end up staying longer in bed. You continue overthinking while using your phone. Your day is ruined.

Pretty much what happens to me on occasion.

Inactivity and loneliness feed depression.

I’m not saying they’re the main causes of it but they contribute quite a lot to it.

Think about it.

Depression isn’t likely to kick in when you’re out spending time with your friends or doing something fun.

It’s more likely to trigger when you’re alone and doing nothing.

Do yourself a favour and go do something with your free time.

Go out. Talk to a friend. Get something done.

Life’s too short to lie in bed overthinking about life.

Keep yourself busy.


Find something that you really love doing.

Me personally, my two biggest passions are writing and fitness.

What’s yours?

And really find them if you realise that you can’t think of any.

Because that’s your drive to live.

Whether it’s caring for animals, writing, photography, music, baking or anything else.

Your passion defines who you are as a person too.

But don’t confuse passion with hobby though.

Your passion is something that genuinely excites, moves and touches you whenever you think about it or even if you hear someone talk about it.

Hobbies are simply leisurely activities you do to have fun, relieve stress or kill some time.

They’re not the same.

You’ll hear some people saying that it’s their ‘calling’ to do some of the things they do.

One’s purpose in life can often be driven by their passions, which is why it’s important to find them.

But we need to find that passion first.

And always find time for it.

You might want to monetise your passion to earn a living out of it or not.

That’s fine because making money isn’t the most important thing about it.

What’s more important is keeping your passion alive by constantly spending time on it.

You’ll be a lot happier that way.

No matter how busy life gets, always set time aside to work on your passions.

So, what are your passions?