Organized Kaos

Making Life Manageable!

Do You Want To Be More Productive? Get Happy First

Posted by coachkimcollins on April 11, 2015


Have you ever said to yourself: “when I finally get my house organized, I’ll be happy” or “when I finally get caught up at work, I’ll be happy”?

Many of us are under the misconception that when we finally improve our productivity that we will be happy. We are constantly struggling to do the “must do’s” on our lists before we allow ourselves to do the “want to’s”. From this perspective, we rarely make it to Happy or Productive.

Have you ever noticed that when you have a good day or you’re just happy about something – that you actually feel like getting things done? It’s a simple concept. When we are happy, things don’t seem so hard and overwhelming. Happiness gives us the energy to conquer difficult tasks and to be more productive.

Studies have shown that people who watched a comedy, performed better on math tests afterword. In other words, after you have a pleasant experience that makes you happy, you tend to be more productive.

There are certain habits you can adopt that will increase your level of happiness thus increasing your productivity or your willingness to get things done.  From the 10 happiness habits listed below, pick a few to weave into your day or week and see your happiness and productivity increase. 

  1. Create A Life List – Make a list of activities that make you feel happy and alive. Then document your experiences by photographing your adventures. Looking at these pictures will inspire you to create even more happy moments. 
  2. Express Gratitude – Expressing gratitude can increase happiness and overall life satisfaction. Every evening write down 3 things that you are thankful for. This practice will focus your brain on the positive things in your life.
  3. Get More Sleep – Not only does sleep help us be more focused and productive it also affects our positivity. Start by going to bed 5 minutes earlier until you begin waking up feeling rested and refreshed.
  4. Increase Your Physical Activity – Exercise can help you to relax and increase your brainpower. Walk, run, bike or engage in some form of physical activity that gets your heart pumping. Exercising for just 7 minutes a day can release proteins and endorphins that make you feel happier.
  5. Play More – Nothing can make us quite as happy as letting ourselves go in the act of play. Allow yourself the joy of play and productive work will follow. Every week make a play date for yourself to do something fun that unleashes your inner child.
  6. Meditate – Research shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness. Take 5 minutes a day to focus on your breathing, recite an affirmation, or practice progressive muscle relaxation. 
  7. Laugh – Laughter is good medicine. Treat yourself to a good laugh. Rent some funny movies, watch your favorite sitcom, or look up some funny videos online.
  8. Help Others – Help others by performing random acts of kindness or volunteering and you will see your happiness level increase tenfold. 
  9. Use Your Strengths – Find your core strengths and use them. Explore ways to use them in your work and personal life every day.
  10. Nurture Positive Relationships – Happiness is contagious so connect with people both on and off- line who support and uplift you.


Posted in Health Habits, Productivity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

ADHD, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms

Posted by coachkimcollins on January 14, 2013

Sleep is a huge problem for adults with ADHD. Recent studies estimate that up to 83% of patients suffer some type of sleep disturbance. But despite this close correlation, there’s a surprising lack of scientific research to explain exactly why ADHD patients are such bad sleepers.

One of the reasons for this gap in our knowledge is because the sleep/ADHD relationship raises a chicken and egg question: is ADHD (and its associated medication) the cause of sleep problems, or is it the other way round, i.e. do existing sleep problems cause ADHD?

Studying the rhythms

Most sleep/ADHD studies to date have focused on children with attention deficit disorders, so relatively little is known about the sleeping patterns of adults with ADHD. But new research published in 2012 is beginning to shed some light on this area, in particular about the circadian rhythms of adults with ADHD.

Circadian rhythms refer to the built in 24 hour internal clock which governs our sleep wake cycle. In normal healthy individuals, this clock is linked to the light/darkness cues of day and night. As darkness approaches, the hormone melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland inducing drowsiness. Similarly, the light of dawn signals other physiological responses to facilitate wakefulness.

To monitor these changes, the scientists fitted the participants with actigraphs to measure their movements during sleep, and took saliva samples at regular intervals to measure melatonin levels. They also took readings of two ‘clock’ genes, and another hormone, cortisol which also varies with circadian rhythm.

The measurements clearly demonstrated a wide range of sleep disturbances in the ADHD patients. Compared to the control group, night time activity levels were higher, sleep duration was shorter and over half of the adults with ADHD took an hour or longer to fall asleep,

But perhaps more intriguing were the discoveries regarding the circadian rhythms of the ADHD group. They showed a marked preference towards ‘eveningness’ or ‘owl’ behaviour, i.e. they slept and woke later. This tallied with their cortisol levels, which peaked 3 hours later than the control group.

The ADHD group also expressed a much weaker melatonin cycle, whilst their clock genes, compared to a steady pattern for the non-ADHD group, showed a complete breakdown i.e. no rhythm at all. The study concluded that: “adult ADHD is accompanied by significant changes in the circadian system, which in turn may lead to decreased sleep duration and quality in the condition

What are the implications?

Whilst this was a small-scale study, the findings raise some interesting questions. Do faulty circadian rhythms lead to ADHD? Can ADHD symptoms be treated in the same way as circadian rhythm disorders i.e. with melatonin or light therapy? Is there a link between the altered cortisol response (which is also a stress hormone) and the mood and anxiety disorders common in ADHD patients? If nothing else, the results of the study suggest an interesting direction for new research.

What practical steps can be taken?

The good news is that these days you don’t have to go to a sleep laboratory to find out what your sleep patterns look like. You can examine your own circadian rhythms just by downloading an app onto your smartphone. More advanced systems such as the Zeo Sleep Manager can track your sleep patterns and provide you with detailed graphs showing you exactly how much REM and deep sleep you’re getting. Alternatively, just use a pen and paper and start to make a log of your sleep habits, including sleep duration, wake time and when you feel drowsy during the day.

Gathering the data is just the first step. Once you have more information about your personal sleep patterns, consider talking with a health professional about how you can make a positive change to your life by tackling your sleep problems.

This is a guest post by Jeff Mann,  owner of Sleep Junkies, a website dedicated to bringing you the latest research, news and tips about sleep to make you healthier, happier and smarter.


Image courtesy of Ambro at

Posted in ADHD, Guest Post | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Procrastination Infographic

Posted by coachkimcollins on January 8, 2013

It’s the first full week of the New Year… Are you Procrastinating already? Online has a great Infographic on College Students and Procrastination. But, I think it is applicable to all of us who struggle with Procrastination.
Internships Infographic

Posted in Time Management | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy New Year

Posted by coachkimcollins on December 31, 2012


“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

Posted in Holidays | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

3 Things You Can Do To Stress Less This Holiday Season

Posted by coachkimcollins on November 29, 2012

  1. Don’t try to do everything well. Choose one thing that’s important to you this holiday season and work on doing that one thing well. Simplify things by hiring help or lowering your standards for what is acceptable. For example, instead of trying to create a picture perfect home for the holidays, hire someone else to clean and organize for you. Or, change your standards from “picture perfect” to  “cluttered but clean “ .

  2. Watch a feel-good holiday movie. Nothing gets me in the spirit more than watching a holiday movie on the Hallmark Channel. These movies allow you to escape your chaotic life for a while and focus on the true spirit of the holidays.

  3. Plan and visualize your post-holiday activities. For many people, the holidays can be a letdown when they are over. If you miss being around people, plan to get together with friends for lunch or dinner after the first of the year to stave off those post holiday blues. If you feel overwhelmed during the holidays, you might want to plan some alone time once the chaos dies down. Plan something that will allow you to decompress and rejuvenate. Visualizing your plan can help you get through high stress holiday moments.

Posted in Holidays | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Audio Post: What are you thankful for?

Posted by coachkimcollins on November 28, 2012

Listen to My Audio Post: What are you thankful for?


Posted in Audio Posts, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Audio Post:Flexibility

Posted by coachkimcollins on October 2, 2012

Listen to My Audio Post: Flexibility

Posted in Audio Posts, Personal Development | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Listly – Stay Focused Online

Posted by coachkimcollins on September 27, 2012

Are you constantly getting distracted online? Check out the list of applications that I created to help you stay focused online and get things done.

Stay Focused Online

Minimize online distractions, take breaks, and stay focused online.

Feel free to help me curate this list by adding any applications that you use. Make sure to follow the list so that you will be notified when additions are made to the list.

Posted in Productivity, Resources | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: