4 Practical Tips to Increase Your Productivity and Positivity
Yoga is much more than practicing poses on a mat. It is about practicing being a better version of yourself every single day. Distractions can easily take us off course and, in my humble opinion, one of the biggest daily distractions is advertising and promotions. More than just annoying, ads and promos are constantly telling us that we are missing something in our lives and that whatever it is that they are selling is going to fill us up and make us whole. But the truth is, we are already whole. And most of the time, these ads leave us feeling more self-conscious and needy than we were before we consumed them. Whether we realize it or not, these negative feelings deplete our energy, slow us down and create a self-perpetuating cycle of negative thinking. Not convinced? Here's an article from the Harvard Business Review that explains why "happy workers work harder" and not "Successful workers are happier." So here are some practical things you can do to reduce the amount of advertising you consume so you can get back to being happy and productive.
1. Get rid of cable. Seriously, pull the plug. The entire business model of cable television centers around advertising and you are probably already paying for membership services like Netflix and Hulu. And with services like Hulu, for an extremely small upgrade fee, you can get rid of advertisements altogether. As a bonus, you will probably save money every month and you can use that to get a massage, take a vacation, or make a donation to your favorite cause. I’d call that a win-win.
2. Roll-up your emails. You are probably one of two types of people: a) you are like me and you are constantly going through you emails to read, delete, archive, etc so you can keep your inbox as close to 0 as possible or b) your inbox is cluttered with a million emails you never even check. Either you are wasting your time, consuming content throughout the day even though you don’t mean to or your are wading through distractions to get to that important email. Why? Roll up your emails and eliminate the problem.
3. Unfollow. Social media is fast becoming the most engaging way to consume advertising and messages that make us feel angry, inadequate, judgmental, materialistic, etc. The solution? Unfollow people who are always posting things that make you want to type nasty replies. Unfollow celebrities that make you feel unattractive or like you need to buy a whole new wardrobe. Unfollow people who only follow so you can judge them and feel superior towards. Next time you see these people in your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat feeds, unfollow!
4. Stop reading magazines - even at the hair/nail salon. All magazines, whether it’s Men’s Health or Vogue, are designed to sell things. And not just through traditional advertising but also through promotional articles and mentions. You already knew that right? So just don’t read them. Instead, queue up all those articles, books or sports stats you’ve been wanting to catch up on. You will feel so accomplished afterwards that you might want to celebrate by going for a run. Okay, maybe not. But you will still feel like you spent your time wisely.
While we’ll never completely eliminate advertising from our lives (and it’s not all bad – how else would you know when the season premiere of Game of Thrones airs?), I hope these tips help you minimize your exposure to the pernicious advertisements and promotions that are quietly draining your energy and productivity so you can live life healthier, happier and more productive!