Not all gifts can be wrapped and put under the tree, especially the ones that are the most valuanike air max 90 air jordan mid 40 nike air max 90 nike air max 270 women’s sale nike air max womens nike air jordan 1 mid se nike air jordan 1 mid se nike jordan zoom air cmft nike vapor max jordan max aura 4 nike jordan zoom air cmft air max 97 sale max white shoes cheapest jordan 4s wmns air max 270 ble. In this episode I’m suggesting some gifts you can give yourself during this holiday season and for the coming year…which could be your most productive ever.
Let’s give ourselves a truly meaningful (and useful) gift this year
During this holiday season I thought it would be fun to do a gift-ideas episode. I actually intended to assemble a list of productivity-related gift ideas for other people, but when I started working on it my thoughts went a completely different direction. So I’m going to share with you my ideas for gifts you can give yourself this holiday season and for the coming new year–some gifts that just might make it the most productive year of all.
1. The gift of time
Time is perhaps our most finite resource. One of the most productive things we can do is to make the best use possible of the time we have.
- Simplify your life–your schedule, your space–to leave more time for the things that matter most to you.
- Tweak your tools–your calendar, your task manager–to make sure they’re working best for you.
- Tangible gifts–new planner? new notepad and pens? hire help for housecleaning or filing?
2. The gift of health
Often when life is full the first thing we drop is taking care of ourselves, but it’s hard to show up as our best selves if we’re not physically, mentally, and emotionally as healthy as we could be.
- Do the basics: schedule your medical, dental, and eye checkups now if you don’t already have them scheduled.
- Carve out time on purpose to eat well, get enough sleep, and move your body every day.
- Evaluate your inputs (physical, mental, emotional) and eliminate those that don’t contribute to your health, replacing them with others that do.
- Tangible gifts–a gym membership or a few sessions with a trainer? new sneakers or a treadmill? a few sessions with a therapist or counselor? fresh flowers for your desk or kitchen island?
3. The gift of learning
A truly productive person is a lifelong learner, both with respect to practical skills and general knowledge.
- There’s always something new to learn, whether about our job, our relationships, or the world in general. The act of learning helps keep us engaged and enthusiastic, and therefore more productive.
- Take a class or take some lessons or read a book about something new. Commit to setting aside time each week to learn something new. My son, recently retired from the U.S. Navy, is taking horseback riding lessons for the first time in his life.
- Tangible gifts–sign up for a class or some lessons or a conference; buy a book
4. The gift of perspective
Learning to see things from a broader perspective is valuable for our wellbeing, our ability to deal with difficulties, our creativity and problem-solving abilities, our relationships, and our ability to resolve conflicts. All of these affect our productivity.
- Read or listen to something that comes from a different life experience or cultural background than yours, or have a conversation with someone you disagree with, or travel to a place very different.
- Intentionally cultivate curiosity (instead of judgment) about people, places, circumstances, events.
- One article recommends trying the improv comedy technique of “yes, and . . .”:
Each of us has our own habits of mind—things we are reflexively negative about, and the stories we repetitively tell ourselves about what is or isn’t possible. Maybe you don’t apply for certain jobs or pitch ideas at work because you’re sure that it won’t be successful. But there are ways to break out of that sort of thinking. Taking a nod from improv comedy, you can expand and shift your vision to consider a multitude of possibilities. Using the improv skill of saying “yes, and…” you can accept the concrete reality about a given project or situation and build on it by seeing what can be added, changed, or improved. By using “yes, and…” you can dismantle limiting beliefs that have become habits of mind while cultivating a flexibility that will help you think creatively about future challenges.
- Tangible gifts–travel!
5. The gift of friendship
One of the most important assets for making a life that matters is a strong support system, and that includes being a support system for others. We are, as Brene Brown says, wired for connection. Even for those of us who are introverts (i.e., energized by alone time), relationships are important.
- Schedule time to get together with an old friend or invite someone to lunch who you’d like to have as a new friend
- Tangible gifts–planned activities with friends, whether lunch or coffee or a weekend girls getaway or taking a class together (which can combine the gift of friendship with the gift of learning).
6. The gift of forgiveness
- Studies have shown–and my own experience has borne this out–that harboring unforgiveness and resentment impairs our own quality of life and our productivity. I’ve heard it referred to as allowing someone else rent-free space in your mind. Choose to forgive someone who has wronged you. This doesn’t mean you have to let them be a part of your life. Just let go of the burden of resentment, blame, …
7. The gift of peace
The opposites of peace are conflict, strife, anxiety. One writer has said “The opposite of peace is not war, it’s fear.” All of these obviously are at odds with productivity, distracting us and making it difficult to accomplish what matters to us. The stress of a constantly conflicted or anxious mind can have consequences for our physical health.
- Nurturing peace (serenity and calmness within), on the other hand, helps us to enjoy our lives and be more productive. People who are at peace are happier, and happier people are more productive.
- Practice quietness. Meditation can help nurture inner peace. Reading, memorizing, pondering scriptures or sacred texts can help. Teach yourself to accept what is (which doesn’t mean you can’t work to make things better).
- Tangible gifts–invest in a meditation app; sign up for a retreat somewhere that creates peaceful feelings for you. For me, that’s the ocean or near a lake in the mountains.
8. The gift of joy
As we discussed back in episode 424,
“Studies show happy people are more productive. If happiness is about how we feel over time, we can foster long-term happiness by recognizing, seeking, and fostering those moments of joy. If joy comes from a sense of meaningfulness, we certainly will find more joy in a life we’re intentionally creating based on our own values and priorities.”
- Choose to look for joy, even in the small things (the laughter of a small child? The sun setting over the ocean? A gathering of loved ones?). Avoid comparison (who said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”?). Intentionally seek out experiences and activities that bring you joy.
- Tangible gifts–arranging for experiences that bring you joy, whether it’s a get-together with people with whom you can laugh or a trip to a place near or far that brings you joy.
9. The gift of adventure
I got this idea from Laura Vanderkam’s wonderful book, Tranquility by Tuesday. Rule 6 of her “9 Ways to Calm the Chaos and Make Time for What Matters” is “one big adventure, one little adventure.” Part of the value of doing this is its effect on our perception of time. And making memories is a very productive use of our time
- Vanderkam recommends one big adventure (taking a few hours) and one small adventure (taking about an hour) each week. She offers lots of suggestions
- If once a week sounds too daunting, plan now to do one new thing each month
- Tangible gifts–buy Vanderkam’s book and read it; an adventure somewhere new.
10. The gift of grace
One way of looking at this is giving grace means giving love, forgiveness, kindness, and peace. When you give this gift to others and yourself, whether or not they–or you!– “deserve” it, you are making the world a better place, and making your life matter even more. (We talked about giving grace in episode 262.)
- One writer encourages us with 5 ways to give ourselves grace:
- Don’t be perfect, be real.
- Mess up, but don’t let yourself feel bad.
- Give yourself permission to not do everything.
- Never feel selfish for taking “you” time.
- Do one thing a day you’re proud of.
- I’d suggest you can extend grace to others by applying all of those to the other person as well.
- Tangible gifts–a piece of art that reminds you to extend grace. (I found a beautiful shadow box art piece years ago with the word “grace” formed out of jewel-colored glass and keep it in my office where I can see it daily.)
In this holiday season, we’re all about gift-giving, and I celebrate that. Consider giving yourself a gift or two this year, though, that will help you be more productive through the coming year. And in so doing, you’ll be giving gifts to others as well–those you know and the larger world–as these gifts help you to show up in a stronger and more joyful way for those around you.
What do you think?
Resources and Links
- Countdown to a New Year: Joy – TPW424
- Productive Reading: Tranquility by Tuesday, by Laura Vanderkam – TPW420
- Giving Grace – TPW262
- Tranquility by Tuesday, by Laura Vanderkam
- 5 Ways to Give Yourself the Gift of Grace – Eco Lips Store
- Broadening Your Perspective
- Gaining a Broader Perspective — Cupela
- 6 Strategies For Gaining Perspective – Idealist
- Expand Your Perspective – Winona State University
- The Opposite of Peace Is…? | The Prodigal Thought
- Inner Peace and Workplace Productivity
- (28) Harmony Within: Nurturing Mind, Body, and Spirit for Inner Peace and Self-Love. | LinkedIn
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