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Are You Productive? Find Out By Answering These 5 Questions

Are you productive? Do you find yourself struggling every day to get everything done that you need to get done and still have some time left for yourself?

Do you wonder if you just don’t have enough time or if you waste the time that you do have?

There are 5 questions that you should ask yourself if you are wondering if you are productive.

#1 – How much time do you spend on your screen?

Cell phones, pads and computers have taken over our lives and they are the number one cause of lack of productivity.

Have you heard of the term “screen suck?” It means the time that we spend on our computer when we don’t mean to. Like when you go on to ‘quickly check your email’ and end up still on an hour later having watched too many cute animal videos.

Being sucked into our screen kills productivity.

So how much time do you spend in in front of your screen? If it’s more than hour, spent surfing instead of getting work done, your productivity is probably lagging.

#2 – Do you have a ‘To-Do’ list?

The most productive people have a list of things that need to get done.

As much as we would all like to believe that we can maintain a running list to-do in our head, it is almost impossible to do so.

Between work and family and social life and work there are so many things that need to get done and to get them done you must keep track of them.

So, if you don’t have an ongoing list, one that prioritizes things that need to get done, you most likely aren’t as productive as you could be.

#3 – Can you say NO?

You know when that mom approaches you at pick-up time and asks if you would mind running the annual school auction? Or when your boss asks you to take over yet another project? How good are you at saying NO?

The most productive people know how many hours they have available in the day and are strong enough to say NO instead of adding one more thing to their already heavy load.

On top of being less productive, when you take on too many things you also become less effective. You can’t do the things you take on as well as you might because you just can’t devote the mental and physical energy needed to do it.

So learn to say NO! Your productivity will increase immediately if you do.

#4 – Can you ask for help?

The most productive people in the world are NOT the people who try to do it all themselves. The most productive people in the world are the ones who are willing to delegate and share tasks to get things done efficiently.

Do you need to do everything in order to get that new project completed on time or are there people you can ask to support you in this endeavor?

Can you take on that school auction and still keep your household running well or might it be a good idea to get someone in to clean your house a couple of times a month?

In this world it’s almost a badge of honor to be so busy that you barely sleep and feel constantly overwhelmed. But the most productive people don’t wear that badge. They know that by asking for help they will be more efficient and effective in their endeavors and not struggle with being overwhelmed and exhausted.

#5 – Are you taking care of yourself?

Being a productive person in the world depends a lot on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you are someone who never gets enough sleep, doesn’t eat well or struggles with depression being productive will be challenging.

To be productive you need to have mental clarity and physical stamina. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, take a walk and pay attention to your mental health.

If you do you will be well fortified in your efforts to be productive.

So, after asking yourself those questions, what is the answer? Are you productive?

If not, then follow my suggestions.

Limit your screen time, make a list, learn to say no, to ask for help and take care of your physical and mental health.

This is a jam-packed, chaotic and exhausting world that we live in but you can make your little corner of it less so by managing your habits so that you can be productive.

Imagine going to bed at night with most of the things on your list crossed off? How great would that feel?

So go for it! Change those habits and answer YES to the question ‘Are you productive?’

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

How To Make It Through The Day When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed And Tired

Our modern lives are chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting and it can be hard to make it through the day when you are feeling overwhelmed and tired. And because it seems that every day is the same it can be very hard to get ahead of it all.

It IS possible to get through those days overwhelming and exhausting days. All it takes is a little awareness and intention and you can do it!

Here are 5 ways to do so.

#1 – Make a list and prioritize.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and tired just thinking about all of the things that needs to be done can shut you down for the day. And shutting you down for the day is definitely not what you need because that will only lead to more overwhelm tomorrow!

So take a minute and make a list of everything that you think needs to be done today. Once you have a list make a list of everything that REALLY needs to be done today. And then take that list and prioritize what needs to be done first, second and third.

If you know exactly what needs to be done, and you can look at it in front of you, your overwhelm will immediately subside, at least a bit. A big piece of overwhelm is the result of just not knowing what needs to be done.

#2 – Take it one step at a time.

Once you have your list it’s important to start at the beginning.

You have a list and it’s prioritized and now it’s time to take it one step at a time.

Another cause of overwhelm is that we jump too quickly ahead or start to visualize an end result that isn’t what we want it to be and so we get derailed.

So take each item on your list individually. And if something gets in the way don’t give up. Get back to your list and keep moving forward.

#3 – Do something for yourself.

A key part of surviving through exhaustion and overwhelm is to do something to take care of yourself. When we are at the end of our rope our tendency is to put ourselves on the back burner and everyone and everything ahead of us.

It’s important that we take even just a little bit of time to do something for ourselves and recharge our batteries.

What would work for you? Perhaps it’s a walk or a run, a mid-morning croissant snack, tea with a friend, a pedicure or even a massage. Whatever would work for you to make your day just a little more manageable.

#4 – Remember to eat and eat well.

When we are running around like crazy we tend to forget to eat. Or if we do eat we eat something that isn’t good for us.

An important part of fighting overwhelm is to make sure that we eat well, food that will fuel our journey through the day.

What kind of food? Protein is the most important – eggs, nuts, chicken, cheese. Make sure to eat a good breakfast and lunch or, at the very least, keep some protein with you to snack on. A bag of almonds in the glove box can make a huge difference.

#5 – Take a cat nap.

I know you are laughing at the thought of fitting a nap into your crazy day but if you possibly can it will make a HUGE difference.

I am the queen of the 20 minutes nap in the car. I pull over in the shade or sun, depending on the season, put my seat back and snooze for 20 minutes. When I wake up my energy levels are definitely up and I can get through the rest of my day.

So try to make some time to snooze. It will be totally worth it!

This crazy modern life we lead makes being overwhelmed and tired a regular occurrence. And, since tropical vacations aren’t usually available to help us recharge, it’s important that we do what we can do to get through the day.

So make a list, set your priorities and take care of yourself. If you can take care of yourself then you will better be able to take care of others. And get yourself through the day intact and ready for another one tomorrow.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy

Being unhappy is horrible. It can take over your life and suck all that is good and joyful out of it. None of us want to be unhappy but many of us are.

One thing many of us don’t ask ourselves is why we are unhappy. We have a vague understanding that our lives are not what we hoped they would be but we don’t know specifically why.

In an effort to help you identify what specifically is making you unhappy I have five questions for you. Answer them in terms of your own life and you will get the answers you are looking for.

Here is my latest: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You are Unhappy.

#1 – Are you proud of the choices you are making?

All of us having internal guiding principles that are important to us, things like the importance of trust or honesty or loyalty. These guiding principles light our path to living our best life but unfortunately they can get lost as life happens.

Do you know what your guiding principles are and are your living them?

I have a client who was having an affair with a married man. He made her deliriously happy, or so she told herself. But still she didn’t feel good about her life and she didn’t know why.

I asked her what her guiding principles were – what was most important to her in a relationship?

After some thought and discussion she realized that the truth was of paramount importance to her. And that nothing about her relationship with the married man was based on truth.

“Are you able to live with that?” I asked. “And be happy?”

The answer was no and she soon moved on. On into a relationship that was based on truth and trust and she is happy.

#2 – Is your relationship making your heart sing?

Our romantic relationships are very important, more important than many of us recognize.

In this modern world we are told that we should be able to take care of ourselves and that to rely on another to bring us some happiness is a sign of weakness.

But this just simply is not true.

Happy committed relationships provide much that is essential to human survival: commitment, communication, touch, sharing, sex, support, laughter, joy, sex. When we have those things our lives are fuller, we are satisfied, we are loved. Other things can bring us down but the foundation of a good relationship helps us when we founder.

Being in a relationship isn’t necessary for happiness but being in a relationship that is toxic puts you on the surest path to being unhappy.

I have a client whose husband was always one of two things: absent or drunk. She wasn’t sure which was worse – his not being in the house or being drunk when he was. What she did know was that it was making her miserable. She was always hoping that things would change but they never did. She was alone in her marriage.

And the rest of her life? It foundered. Her parenting suffered, she stopped eating well and exercising and gained 20 pounds, her work was neglected and her crabbiness made her friends stay away.

What did she do? After much deliberation and overcoming lots of fear, she asked him to stay absent and she is fighting her way back to herself, on the path to living the life of her dreams.

#3 – Do you make a difference in the world?

I know you are going to say that you just don’t have time to volunteer. How could I possibly ask you to do that?

I am not going to ask you to do that. Although if it appeals you should try it. Volunteering makes the world go round.

What I mean by making a difference is asking you how you interact with others in the world. Did you smile at the checkout person at the grocery store? Do you hold doors for other people? Do you refrain from giving the man who cut you off in his BMW the finger? Do you pick up trash that you see in the street?

All of these things contribute to the world in a small way and doing them will make your life a better place as well. The act of smiling at someone will actually make you and the person you smiled at happier. Holding doors for people makes them feel noticed and you made it happen. Not giving someone the finger will allow you not to feel the pain of remorse in the middle of the night. And picking up that trash will literally make the world a more beautiful place.

So make a difference in the world every day. It will make you happier. I promise.

Want some help being happy? Let me help!

#4 – Do you feel healthy and strong?

You know when you go out on a long dock and it’s old and creaky and with each step you wonder if you are going to end up in the water? If you aren’t healthy and strong, like a good dock, you could find yourself drowning before you know it.

Taking care of yourself is the key to a foundation from which happiness can grow. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Exercise, but only so it makes you feel good. Do one thing that makes you happy every day, like a massage or lunch with a friend. Find a life coach, to get the support that you need.

If you feel healthy and strong you will be able to take on whatever life throws at you.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

#5 – Do you challenge yourself?

I know that I have my routines. I get up, walk my dog, do some yoga, work all day, walk my dog again, do errands, have dinner, take a bath and go to bed. Pretty much every day.

As a life coach I know that while routines are good for keeping us on track it is essential to challenge ourselves. Challenging yourself will keep your brain going strong, keep you physically confident and get that adrenaline rushing.

What do I mean by being challenged? It can be anything.

When I got divorced I promised myself that I would start doing all of the things that scared me. I learned how to ride a jet ski (which was awesome), I conquered my fear of driving in the snow (which was convenient), I took up crossword puzzles (which has made me way smarter) and I can now use power tools. Except for a drill.

It’s so hard to imagine now not being able to do those things. Doing them has given me so much more confidence in myself – not only that I can do them but that I challenged myself to overcome my fears and prevailed.

And did I mention that I was way smarter? That makes me happy.

So there you go. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You Are Unhappy.

Unhappiness to so many of us is the status quo. We assume that this is the way life is and we must push through it. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Happiness IS possible.

Are you making choices that are feeling good? Are you feeling loved and supported in your relationship? Did you make someone smile today? Is your foundation strong? Did you do something recently that got your adrenaline pumping?

If not, choose one and make it happen.

Happiness is yours for the taking. Today.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier, Even if Life Always Seems to Get in the Way

Every day moms take care of everyone else. That is just what we do. We make sure the kids are loved, fed, bathed and supported. Likewise our partners. We do our best to carry our share, or more, at work and always try to be a shoulder to cry on for our friends.

What we aren’t good at is taking care of ourselves. We set goals to go to the gym, or sleep more or eat better but in the end life gets in the way and we just let it go.

We don’t have to do this!

Here are 5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier…

#1 – Every day do one thing that makes you happy. It doesn’t need to be a big thing but do something. Make a playlist for your car and listen to music that makes you sing out loud. Serve breakfast for dinner (because no one ever complains when dinner involves pancakes). Bring your book in the car and read a chapter while waiting to pick up the kids at school. Whatever small thing it is that makes your heart sing.

For me, when my kids were little, every Sunday was pizza night and then my People magazine and I would retire to the bathtub for an hour. I went to bed Sunday night happy and Monday mornings were much easier.

#2 – Replace the Oreos. I am willing to bet that before you had kids Oreos were not a staple of your diet. Am I wrong? But now they are because they are in the cupboard. You get tired, or stressed or bored, and there, right in front of you, is a little disk of self-indulgence. So you eat one, or 20, and you feel better for 30 seconds and then you feel not so good.

Keep something that you really love in the cupboard that will fill that need, when you get tired or stressed or bored, and go for that instead. Chocolate covered almonds or honey roasted peanuts or individually wrapped chocolates (so you can’t take a handful). And, if you have something that combines sugar and protein (like sweetened nuts) you won’t be affected by the sugar so quickly and you won’t get that Oreo cookie crash.

#3 – Play with your kids. We all have grand plans when our kids are born, to get down on the floor with them and play. And we do, at least until their sibling is born, and then we as often as not let them have at it.

Playing with your kids is proven to make you happier and happiness leads to healthiness. First of all, play makes you smile and the physical act of smiling actually makes you happy.  Also, by sheer definition, play is fun, more fun than work. So put on a tiara and frolic with your kids, at least for a bit. Try it!

One of my clients plays a game of cards with her kids and her husband every night after dinner. It only takes 20 minutes and they laugh and kid and enjoy each others company. And then off they go to homework etc. She reports that the 20 minutes makes the transitions easier and sets up a much smoother bedtime routine, every mother’s dream.

#4 – Get just a little more sleep. I know you are saying, “Yeah. Right.” But I am serious. Try to fit just a little more sleep into your day. Actually I am suggesting you build it into your schedule. Right there between going to the dry cleaners and finishing your project for the meeting. Make a plan to take a 15-minute nap right after lunch, before you head out to do errands. Or sleep 15 minutes later 3 times a week. Wherever you can fit in just a little more sleep.

If you sleep in 15 minutes 3 days a week that’s 45 minutes more sleep. Add two naps in there and you have more than an hour. Every bit of sleep makes a difference.

#5 – Do one thing that will get your heart rate up. Can’t make time for the gym? No problem. Even a little cardio is better than none. Why? Because getting your heart rate up produces more endorphins and endorphins actually produce a euphoric feeling.

Ideas? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance around the kitchen while cooking a meal. Walk the dog. Ride a bike. Kick a soccer ball. Jump on the trampoline. Getting your heart rate up regularly is a very healthy thing to do.

I have a client whose family got a dog. My client was worried because she knew it would make more work for her, which it did. Of course it needed to be walked but taking it for walks actually changed her life. Not only did getting out of the house and getting her heartbeat up make her feel good, she also made more friends when she was out with the dog, and we know what more friends can do for your health!

So there you go: 5 Little Ways for Moms to Feel Happier. Give them a try for week. See what a difference it makes. Let me know when it does!

Have I missed anything? Do you have something you do that makes you feel healthier in your daily life?

Are you having trouble implementing healthy habits into your life? Do you feel guilty when you try to set aside time to make yourself feel healthier? Let’s talk.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!