Increased Productivity

20130616_100553.jpgI read an article yesterday online from Inc. Magazine about two morning exercises to improve the day’s productivity. It seemed simple enough to do. Here are the two below:

  1. Write down three things you’re grateful for every day
  2. Write down three things that would make the day great

So I gave it a try this morning. Here’s my lists.

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Gratitude

It seems that the world can get busy or better yet, make you believe that you’re busy that you don’t have time to enjoy what you have. More importantly, be grateful for what you have. One thing we started in my family is keeping a gratitude journal. All of us have our own and the goal is write in them daily. The entries can be thoughts, a poem, or even a picture. And it can be from the current day or a realization you’ve had about something you had taken for granted. The goal is to make us all more aware how fortunate we are and appreciate what we have. By taking stock daily, we have become more aware of each other and ourselves.

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner

Here’s a simple nighttime routine that will help increase your awareness.

How do you show gratitude?

How Being Thankful Helps Me

Jayson’s post, Being Thankful, got me thinking. Then I ran across this article by Maryling Yu, “The Most Important Skill In Life (It’s Not What You Think)“. I thought, “There’s something to this, and it’s worth me taking a few minutes to think about what this means to me”.

Jayson’s thoughts, Maryling Yu’s article and so many life experiences (many in hindsight) made me realize that I kind of knew this. I cannot, however, claim to have thought concretely about the concept of Being Thankful in quite this fashion. While I have been trying to improve my ownership of how I feel about life, on any given day, in any given situation, I should also be working on what I do in this context. The two are closely related, but quite different.

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Being Thankful

Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends. P.S. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence.”

As my family and I were celebrating Christmas last week, we watched It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It is a classic and if you’ve never seen it, I urge you to watch it soon. The reminder I always get from the movie is to celebrate what you have because it is greater than what you realize. Too often, we focus on what we don’t have or even worst, compare it to what others have. Which causes us to underestimate our self-worth.

Appreciation
A key element to happiness is appreciating all you have. When you take a good look at yourself and your “possessions”, it will be greater than you think. I suggest doing the following each day:

  • List three things you did well or positive outcomes from the day
  • Based on your, day, what do you want to improve
  • What is one thing you can do, that will lead to your desiered improvement

Listing these things daily will help in a greater appreciation of yourself and life in general.

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