Three Strategies to be a Productive Zen Master

How can we be so relaxed and happy while still being super productive? In order to be that productive in that little amount of time, are we supposed to be running around frantic? Or is this simply a belief that many of us have created?

There are a number of strategies that you can implement to be as Zen and super productive as possible. Here are the top three:

  1. Properly anchor your day. This means religiously guarding the first hour of your day because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. This also means that you’re not setting your alarm and hitting snooze until you have to sprint through your morning routine to get out the door. No, this means that you get up early enough to have an enjoyable, relaxing first hour. Perhaps you go for a walk in nature, or sit and do some self-development reading. Or simply just sit, listening to the birds, or enjoying the sunrise. No TV and no news during this time – that can have a very negative impact on your perspective for the day. Many superachievers deem this “the quiet hour” where they wake up, enjoy some self-development type reading with some coffee or tea, and then plan out their day.
  2. Practice mindfulness – whatever this means to you. Meditate, reflect, simply focus on your breathing – whatever you need to do to calm your mind throughout the day. I love to use calm.com, both the website and app as it gives me a happy place to go for a few minutes, sometimes several times a day.
  3. Work diligently on perspective shifting. This strategy involves stopping yourself throughout the day, especially if you’re feeling frustrated or frantic and asking yourself, what is another way I could look at this? Let’s say you find your first thought of the day to be “I have so much to do today.” You stop yourself – “what’s another way I could look at this?” And perhaps you’ll come up with “I’m so happy it’s Friday” or “I can’t wait to get my high priority task done so I can enjoy a nice lunch with so-and-so.” Depending on how far you’ve allowed your frantic thoughts to take you down the rabbit hole, you might also need to pair this strategy with the second one and practice mindfulness such as deep breathing exercises, before asking yourself the perspective shifting questions.

In order to become more of a super productive Zen master, you need to focus on your way of being. Three strategies for doing so are to anchor your day for some Zen, practice mindfulness, and do some perspective shifting.