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Three More Habits to Boost Productivity in 2017

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In January, we posted a blog about how to stay productive in the New Year, highlighting 10 habits to cultivate and maintain. Now that we are halfway through the year, it is worth revisiting those 10 habits as well as developing an additional three in order to stay happy, healthy, and productive. While 13 habits may seem overwhelming to establish, they are all activities and tasks that can be integrated into daily life with ease. The first 10 habits included activities such as constantly drinking water, meditation, reading, and staying active. Building on those, we can add; trying new foods and activities as well as listening to new music. By combining these practices, not only will life feel more enriching, individuals may be able to contribute more to the world and feel more empowered and self-sufficient.

Try New Foods

Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner is often a fixed tradition in the lives of most individuals, and goes beyond simply taking in nutrients. Eating is a pleasurable experience, yet it is easy to fall into the habit of eating the same foods in rotation. Staying with familiar foods alleviates the stress of having to prepare a new meal, and also streamlines the process, because foods that are prepared routinely require less active thought than unfamiliar foods. This is not necessarily an unhealthy habit, however there are numerous benefits linked to trying new foods and even new recipes for familiar dishes. According to ahealthiermichigan.org, trying new foods provides, “a well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet.” This means that your body is able to process nutrients in a new way that can potentially boost bodily functions, as well as the possibility of introducing entirely new nutrients to the body. There is a wide variety of different foods, flavors, and ingredients to experiment with, therefore exploring new tastes can be an enriching experience that expands the horizons of one’s interests. Sparking new interests can also influence other aspects of life, because it can shape an individual’s outlook and allow them to perform daily tasks in a new, invigorating manner. This habit allows people to add some flavor to their lives, while instilling the tendency to always seek the best outcome, which can lead to elevating productivity levels.

Explore New Activities

Expanding on the concept of trying new food, exploring new activities is another habit that has a lot of potential to improve the overall quality of one’s life. While some take to activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping to discover new interests, it need not be that extreme. Anything that seems appealing to an individual that they have not done before presents a great opportunity to expand their understanding of life and how these activities actually feel. According to an article by Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. on mayoclinic.org, “Trying new things leads to increased confidence and self-esteem.” By participating in new and unfamiliar activities, you may be able to connect and empathize with a new group of individuals who have similar interests, building your networking and relationship opportunities. The article also states that trying new activities allows individuals to build on strengths. This is important on a personal level because it promotes the opportunity for growth mentally, physically, and spiritually depending on the activity. Some individuals seek activities that will give them an adrenaline rush, whereas some look for relaxing activities, or activities that will allow them to be more in tune with themselves. An additional aspect of trying new pursuits is the potential to challenge oneself. Being in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar setting enables us to reach within ourselves to overcome it, which is why challenging oneself is a key element in personal advancement. Regardless of the activity, expanding one’s horizons in a challenging, yet enjoyable manner proves to be beneficial.

Listen to New Music

Staying consistent with the theme of trying new ventures, another beneficial habit to cultivate is that of listening to new music. According to a 2013 study by scientists at McGill University in Montreal, “our brain becomes particularly active when we hear a song for the first time, and that areas of the brain’s reward centers become stimulated by this activity.” Because the brain emits natural positive feelings when listening to new music, this can be used as a way to rebalance and uplift one’s mood in times of stress. Music serves many purposes, and depending on the genre; can motivate, relax, and even invoke powerful memories in the listener. While it is well-known that music can directly influence the human mind and body, scientists are constantly discovering just how deep the connection really is. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Helsinki found that, “Listening to classical music has an effect on human transcriptome.” This essentially means that music has a physical affect on the genetic makeup of humans. In this specific case, scientists analyzed classical music, however this has implications for other genres as well. As music is such a positive force, constantly exploring new sounds can provide a boost to not only the output of one’s work, but the quality as well.

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