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Archive for the ‘Health Habits’ Category

Do You Want To Be More Productive? Get Happy First

Posted by Coach Kim Collins 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.


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Motivation to Exercise

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on July 20, 2012

I didn’t want to do it! Although my mind and mood were telling me that I didn’t want to exercise today- I knew I needed to.  I tried to talk myself out of it, I even created excuses in my head. I mean it was raining out, who feels like exercising when it’s raining out?

So, here are 3 things I did to motivate myself to get moving even on a rainy day:

  1. I put on my shoes

  2. I found a good movie (that would take my mind off the fact that I was exercising) to watch on Netflix

  3. I stepped on the treadmill with my iPad and hit the start button!



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Nutrition and Productivity

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on May 3, 2012

Poor nutrition is associated with low morale and decreased productivity in the workplace. Think about the last time you were starving… how productive were you?

Whether you are skipping meals or eating poorly, your nutritional choices have an impact on your health and productivity.

Studies show that when your blood sugar drops, your brain is less able to focus and control your impulses. So, when you have ADHD, eating right is even more important to help manage your symptoms.

1. Make sure to eat a brain-friendly diet:

  • Fewer simple carbohydrates (candy , sugar, white flour)
  • High in protein (beans, cheese, eggs, nuts)
  • More complex carbohydrates (vegetables, oranges, apples, pears)
  • More Omega-3 fatty acids (tuna, salmon, walnuts)
  • Water

2. Remember to eat. Let’s face it – when you get caught in hyper-focus sometimes it’s easy to forget to eat. That’s why establishing certain times of day that you consistently stop what you are doing and eat, is a good idea. Set an alarm to remind you to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, make sure that you always carry a healthy snack with you so that you are never caught without an energy boost.

3. Make meals simple. Don’t make meals more complicated than they need to be. Make a list of the foods you and your family like and create a meal plan around them. It can be as simple as having chicken on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, fish on Wednesdays, and then adding a vegetable and a side. If you don’t to cook or are short on time, try using a food preparation service like Let’s Dish or Dream Dinners. You can have them prepare a month’s worth of meals for you to pick up and stick in your freezer. If you like to cook – focus on simple 3-ingredient meals during the week or prepare big batches over the weekend to eat throughout the week.

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Sleep and Productivity

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on April 24, 2012

Believe it or not, sleep has a big impact on your productivity in the workplace. Studies show that one in four American adults struggle with insomnia at least 3 times per month. Because these insomniac workers show up at work tired and functioning at a low capacity, they are costing their employers an estimated $67 billion a year in lost productivity.

When you’re sleep deprived, your brain has an especially hard time ignoring distractions and controlling impulses. Sleep recharges your brain so you wake up ready to face the challenges of the day.

Arianna Huffington editor of The Huffington Post shares a story on TED about how she was so sleep deprived that she fainted from exhaustion, broke her cheekbone and had to have several stitches in her face. Sadly it took an incident like that for her to realize the importance of sleep. She now preaches the restorative power of sleep and believes that we can all sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness.

Here are some things you can do to improve your sleep habits:

  1. Discuss your sleep issues with your doctor to make sure that there is no underlying medical condition causing your sleep problems.
  2. Change your bedtime in increments. So, instead of going from a 1am bedtime to a 10pm bedtime. Try going to bed 10-15 minutes earlier until you’ve worked your way to your bedtime goal.
  3. Set a bedtime alarm go off an hour before bedtime. If you tend to get caught up watching TV or on the computer, place the alarm clock in another room so you will be forced to get up to turn it off.
  4. Establish a wind down routine that slows your brain down in preparation for sleep. Choose a quiet relaxing activity like taking a warm bath, reading, listening to music, or meditation.
  5. Post reminders of the importance of sleep in your life.

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Listen to Your Body

Posted by Coach Kim Collins on September 6, 2011

Are you listening to your body? If you were to check in with your body right now, what would it tell you? Would it tell you that you are hungry, thirsty, tired, stressed, that you’ve been sitting at the computer too long, or that you have to go to the bathroom?

I tell my clients all the time that if you don’t listen to your body – eventually it will be heard!

Listening to your body is particularly difficult when you have ADHD. If you are constantly distracted by things or get easily caught in hyper-focus, it’s hard to remember to pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Ignoring messages of pain and discomfort can eventually have permanent repercussions. So, it’s important that you set up a system that reminds you to check in with yourself.

  1. Establish a timeframe to check in with yourself, like every 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
  2. Decide what you will ask yourself during your check in. For example, what do I need to start doing or stop doing to feel focused and energized right now?
  3. Choose a reminder tool to use like your computer, your cell phone or a habit changing device called MotivAider.

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