By this article, you’ve explored your definitions and needs surrounding productivity and self-care. And you will also learn about how you can make a great action plan pillars for improving yourself easily.
You’ve also begun strengthening and deepening your personal awareness to lay the groundwork for meaningful action.This makes you a healthier individual and aligns you with your purpose.
Essentially you’ve started sketching out a roadmap for yourself thinking about what kind of fuel your vehicle needs and where you might find that fuel.
And now it’s time for the wheels to start turning. Time to gain momentum and cover some ground. The pace might be slow at first and that’s fine.
The key is to start from where you are and take one step at a time.
Now I stated earlier in this article that it’s about us as people you as a person who are you outside of your roles responsibilities and to-do lists. Who are you as yourself and what do you do for yourself. This is where you’ll begin to really think about these questions. Maybe you won’t find the answers just yet and again that’s fine.
It’s part of the process.
The point is to become more comfortable with introspection especially when it comes to deep questions you have about who you are and what you want. Pretty deep for productivity. Well yes and no. Gaining an awareness of and connection to yourself helps you identify and move toward your personal ideals in both work and life.
This makes you a better singular and aligns you with your resolve.
However you define that for yourself. We’ve talked about the consequences of a lifestyle that lacks self-care. One overcome by stress fatigue and eventually burnout.
We’ve discussed the role of self-care in combating these things and also in making you more productive at work and in general. Now as we move forward you’ll begin to apply this information to you your work your priorities your lifestyle and identifying your starting point.
In this process begins with getting to know yourself as a person. It’s a strange concept.
Getting to know yourself but our relationships with ourselves are often clouded by what we do with and for others.
Think about it when introducing yourself or answering the question What do you do.
What’s the first thing you respond with job titles family roles.
How weird would it be if you asked someone what they did and they responded with I’m passionate about painting or I feel happiest when I’m building birdhouses.
That would probably throw you off a bit. We rarely share personal information with people right off the bat. It’s much more professional and socially acceptable to start with a job title and that’s not the issue here.
My point is that we get into this habit.
This practice of defining ourselves to others by what we do for work that it becomes increasingly harder should define ourselves outside of that box and you and I both know that we as people are much more than what we do for work.
So now you’re going to practice thinking about yourself as a person that is ultimately how you’ll determine what matters to you which determines yourself care practice which then determines how you can be most productive.
There are many areas of your life and yourself that make you who you are.
Sometimes we identify by or focus solely on one or two becoming familiar with your many facets will help you do self-assessments which will help you identify your starting point your lifestyle and current circumstances and determine the areas that could use a little extra investment.
Here’s what a quick check in might look like physical.
What is your body telling you.
If you’re constantly tired or tense is your body holding on to stress that you’re not dealing with emotional. How do you feel? Notice how you react to certain people or situations.
Think back to the example of Sarah who is exhausted and emotionally overwhelmed. How would that have impacted how she reacted to criticism or confrontation rational.
What’s your mentality?
Are your thought patterns clear or clouded by worry doubt or negativity. Spiritual. This might be rooted in belief personal values or self connection.
Do you feel connected to your purpose or your Higher Power occupation. How are you performing at work? How is your job treating or serving you and do your outcomes match the energy you put in. And finally network what is the quality of your relationships. Are they Mutual are one sided. And who do you rely on for support. How? And now you see yourself as a person.
Give or take a few interpretations.
Here are the facets that make you you looking at each facet and its related questions it might feel overwhelming to explore these ideas all in your head. So when you make a self check in like this I would recommend having a way to record your answers.
This exercise creates a visual representation of the areas of your life that you feel could use a little extra intention.
Let me show you what I mean start by drawing a circle either around or as a list underneath that circle.
List the six facets of your person physical emotional rational spiritual occupation and network. Now there are inner circles as well which we’ll get to right away.
This exercise starts with you dividing your will into six parts and adjusting each part of the wheel or a slice of the pie. By the value you assign to each facet. Now this wheel is divided into six equal parts for reference one for each element or facet.
Nice and tidy all equals sizes. You’ll adjust the size of each section depending on that area’s level of importance. So most wheels look something like this.
For example, in this wheel we see that the physical and rational health as well as occupation are the main priorities as these sections are the largest.
So start by dividing the sections of your wheel accordingly to make it relevant to you.
The next step is to shade each section based on how satisfied you are with it.
5 would be very satisfied 3 being somewhat satisfied and one meaning little to no satisfaction. If you’re not entirely sure how to measure your satisfaction with each section consider some of these questions and feel free to pause the video as you go.
Starting with physical ask yourself.
I eat a balanced diet I exercise at least three times a week I have a healthy relationship with my body and I’m generally free from illness based on these or similar questions.
How satisfied are you with your physical self?
Moving on to emotional I’m able to feel and label my feelings I can express my feelings appropriately I am able to comfort myself when upset I can identify and practice healthy ways to cope with stress anger or general upset rational I pursue mentally stimulating interests or hobbies I have positive thoughts and self-talk.
I commit time and energy to learning and self-development spiritual. I have a general sense of serenity and self-connection.
I have faith in a higher power or I have a sense of meaning and purpose in my life. I trust others and I’m able to forgive them and myself and let go. Occupation.
I find meaning or satisfaction in what I’m doing at work. My work allows me to grow important skills or do things that are important to me. I have a solid work life harmony.
I feel valued and respected at work and I perform well at work and give my best effort to what I do or make.
And finally your network. I am aware of the feelings of others and can respond appropriately. I can resolve conflicts with others in a way that’s healthy and effective. I have a close trusting relationship with at least three people I’m aware of and able to set and respect my own and other boundaries and I have satisfying relationships or social interactions.
So now your wheel might look something like this.
In this example, you can see that the areas of greatest importance also show the highest levels of satisfaction. That’s a good sign. So do this for all six sections of your wheel. Finally write your current level of investment on the parameter of each section.
Choose a number from one to five that you feel reflects the amount of time energy and attention you invest in each section. Again the higher the number the greater the amount of energy you give to that particular area this person invests a lot into their network and occupation.
Which is why those sections are at a four or five. They’re either disinterested or lacking in attending to their emotional and spiritual facets. Hence the low numbers here and by the end of this exercise you’ve got a wellness wheel divided into six parts with each part shaded to varying degrees and with a number from one to five outside each section and that’s how you do the wellness wheel exercise.
Keep in mind that this exercise isn’t intended to be a blow to your ego. The purpose here is to visually see where you’re sending your energy as well as the areas blocking attention when energy lacks in an area you deem important.
The larger sections of your wheel you experience imbalance dissatisfaction and decreased productivity. It’s like when you get sick and your body feels like it’s forcing you back to bed so you can rest your body is trying to get back into balance or driving with a flat tire.
Your vehicle knows something’s up and it’s not going to make it very far until you pay attention to what’s wrong.
When you experience symptoms of imbalance in one area of your real you best believe those symptoms will spill over into the others. Hence our previous discussion on work life harmony and interconnection.
When you’re wellness wheel is in balance your vehicle runs much more smoothly you run much more smoothly and that is what productivity is all about.
Let’s review that what you’ve learned from this article,
How has it shed light on your current lifestyle and what would you like to see a wheel look like. Take a few minutes to highlight the area or areas you’d like to invest more energy into and jot down what that might look like.
Creating and practicing your action plan
You’ve pinpointed where you are on your roadmap and now it’s time to actually map out your route with an action plan.
I’ve said before that a successful plan or framework is one measure by consistent intentional practice and in order to create a lasting action plan you’ll need to make your purposeful personal and practical.
So let’s walk through this process and what I mean by each of these three pillars to your plan purposeful action plan starts with why that’s both your first question and your ultimate goal.
Your purpose is what makes your plan rooted and it’s your marker to measure whether or not something is working.
You started asking yourself why do you want to be more productive and you now have a personal definition of productivity and its purpose for you.
Let’s say your definition of productivity is to streamline your work to cut out on time spent in the office unnecessarily. The streamlining process is half the battle.
The other half the long term make or break lies in what you do with the extra time you now have. If you save yourself an extra hour at work each day only to come home and slump on your couch and watch an extra hour of TV. Is there really a long term benefit or will you eventually tire of the extra time on your couch and default back to longer office days.
But let’s say your definition of productivity is to streamline your work to spend less wasted time in the office so you can sit down and eat dinner with your family every night.
Or maybe it’s still you have the time and energy after work to further a personal project in the evenings. With that as your purpose your motivator you’re already much more likely to build effective productivity habits and more importantly to stick to them.
What you make time for the activities projects and people you value play an essential role in your well-being. So being more productive at work.
So you have more energy to invest outside of work. That process becomes a cycle that fuels you. One might even dare to say it’s a cycle of productive self-care.
Now we take a step further to look at those activities and investments that fuel you.
How do you use that extra hour after work to fuel yourself. If you’re using that hour to eat with your family. Well yeah. You love your partner and your kids but dig a little deeper you spend that hour hearing about everyone’s day and you feel a deep sense of connection you feel part of this interwoven network of people living both individually and interdependently. And that’s pretty special.
Maybe that’s where your purpose lies. Or let’s say you use that extra hour each evening to further a personal project. Maybe you’re writing a book or starting a business or building birdhouses in your garage for no other reason than it makes you happy.
You are a passionate creator and branching out to make something truly your own is what gives you purpose. Whatever the activity so long as it’s healthy and it fuels you is an act of self care and it’s worth making time for. And bonus it’s making you more productive at work.
The second pillar of your lasting action plan is that it’s personal.
It’s made by you for you which is why you’ve already spent time creating your framework so that your action plan is relevant to you your current lifestyle your needs and your ideals.
This article is all about moving growing in your right direction. That’s why there’s no should here. How can I tell you what you should do when I’m coming from a totally different place and potentially looking to move forward in a completely different direction. I can’t.
We all have different starting points directions and modes of transportation. Those of you looking to hike up a mountain for instance aren’t interested in what car you should buy to get you up that mountain because you want to hike.
And those of you taking the scenic route by car aren’t concerned with hiking gear because it doesn’t pertain to the way you’re coming up the mountain.
There’s more than one way up a mountain and there’s certainly more than one mountain. Just focus on your mountain and your path. Don’t worry too much about what someone else tells you you should do. Just know why it’s important to you to be productive. Why is it important to you to practice self-care and how will you use these practices to help you get up your mountain.
We went through the downfalls of making decisions externally that is based on everything and everyone else. So think about this as if you’re heading up a winding mountain without a map. If your route no markers no path just you might consider taking a moment to gather your bearings. Identify where you are and create a route for yourself.
But instead you hear a voice in the distance telling you where you should go what steps you should take and what your journey should look like.
So, what do you do? Who do you listen to? Do you create a path based on where you know you are? Or do you listen to someone on a different route?
Possibly a different mountain entirely. When you paint the picture like that the answer seems pretty simple doesn’t it. An action plan that’s personal to you. Your starting point needs desires and so on will keep you going much longer and more importantly it will keep you going in the right direction because it’s the direction that you have chosen for yourself.
The third and final pillar to your action plan lies in its practicality.
Are you creating realistic goals and ideals? Do you have the tools and supports that you need to move in a certain direction? And if not then what other options do you have.
This builds on our previous pillar making your plan personal. If your self-care activities aren’t practical then how can your plan be tailored to you. If your definition of productivity is rooted in office life for example and suddenly you’re at home raising twins your definition and approach will change to reflect your new needs and lifestyle.
So when thinking of self-care activities and ideas. Ask yourself is this innate an activity that I can maintain when I’m stressed or frustrated at work can I do this activity when I’m starting my morning or winding down my evenings.
Can I do this activity now? These activities don’t have to be revolutionary. Self-care can be closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths to dispel frustration. Maybe you keep a notebook by your desk and write down one sentence of gratitude every day. It might look like a consistent exercise routine.
A regular phone call to a friend or a technology free meal with your family or yourself keep things simple and practical so that an activity that fuels you doesn’t become this massive daunting obligation your self-care activity doesn’t got to be yet one more thing that lingers on your to-do list. So there you go.
Three pillars for an effective long lasting Action Plan purposeful personal and practical. And if you ever get lost in a whirlwind of thought comeback to these three questions to find your pillars.
Does this deep myself awareness? Does this nourish or fulfill me? And can I do this consistently?
Remember your action plan is your roadmap. It helps you get the wheels in motion but it also steers you towards the long term. The consistent intentional practice and healthy habits that keep you fueled to keep going.
Before finishing this article take another look at your wellness wheel. Based on your levels of satisfaction and investment ask yourself a few questions.
Where would you like to focus a little bit of extra energy? Where do you want or need to practice self-care and based on your pillars? What can you do to start practicing self-care today? How can you start fueling yourself now and move in the direction that’s right for you?
So gear up. As the uphill climb begins let’s move forward together and put your plan into action.