Hack your workday with Ayurveda!
Life can sometimes feel like a gamble and the only currency we’ve got to play with is time.
How much time would you be willing to bet for the promise of an awesome day?
Some years ago I read a book by an Ayurvedic doctor titled “Sixteen minutes to a Better Nine to Five”. In it she detailed a sixteen minute plan for supercharging your work day, reducing stress and increasing efficiency. The book stressed two key ideas: 1. A little time goes a long way; 2. Get your priorities straight and you can kick ass all day long! (paraphrasing of course)
The advice was great, the title catchy and the plan, pretty much a no brainer. So I tried it. And guess what? It made a difference! And in the midst of workday hacking heaven I realized that with a few tweaks the plan could offer even more powerful results for the workday and beyond! And if I could shave a little time off of it…
So in the spirit of 7 minute (not 8 min) Abs, I give you my new and improved plan for cracking your work day (and your life) wide open to let all the goodness out! Check it out…
Hold up…Why do I need to hack my workday?
Great question…Let’s take a look at it. How would you describe a great day at work? In the simplest terms it’s one where you’ve managed to get stuff done and feel good doing it, am I right?
So what are you gonna need to make that happen…? You’ll need to be efficient, effective, connected and happy. Cool? And if we dig a little deeper you can see that none of that is even possible without: focus, calm, harmony and action.
Hacking your day is all about conjuring up that goodness in the simplest way with the least amount of time and effort. Luckily all you need are an able mind and body and a willing spirit.
And so without further ado I Present… Fifteen Minutes to a better Nine to Five – short and simple formula for hacking your work day with yoga and Ayurveda.
Create instant focus to increase efficiency.
How: Shut up and feel. Yogis call it being mindful. Easiest way to do it is to just be quiet. Stop talking. Stop thinking. Just be and feel. Feel your feet, your hands, your arms and legs. Tune in to all the physical sensations in your body and just be for five minutes.
Stay connected to your world through instant harmony.
How: Partner up with your day. Ask yourself how you can dance with it instead of fighting it for control. Notice the weather. Is it hot? Cold? Rainy? Dry? What can you wear to maximize your comfort and efficiency? What are your plans for the day? Active? Chilled? Stressful? Fun? Who will you encounter? What’s their energy like? What can you do today to balance whatever life throws at you? What attitude can you adopt to make this day more of a dance and less of a drag? What would be possible if you could meet your day (I mean partner) half way? Take two minutes in the morning to connect with your inner choreographer!
Juice your effectiveness with instant calm
Two words: Breathing Rocks! Especially when you’re doing it on purpose. Best part of intentional breathing (yogis call it pranayama) is that it’s a first class ticket to calm. Three minutes of simple belly breathing in the morning or even spaced throughout your day is like handing you a balance sandwich (yum!). It’s also an Instant stress buster.
Kick inertia to the curb with instant karma
Nope not the John Lennon song. Karma is actually the Sanskrit word for action. Being in action or moving your body is one of the keys to staying in action (thank you Isaac Newton!) around the things that matter in your life. A daily dose of inertia-fighting movement is one of the best ways to start your day, and keep you going! And if you’re looking for a compact, powerful one-two punch of a workout, look no further than Sun Salutations. Five minutes of Sun Salutations (A or B or a combo of both) does a body, mind and spirit good.
There you have it, fifteen minutes!
Do it all at once, spread it out, whatever floats your boat. But understand that the key to having this work is actually doing it. The best part is, most of it can be done anywhere (in the car, the shower, at your desk).
So if your workday (or your life) could use a boost, ask yourself if you’re willing to bet fifteen minutes on the promise of a better nine to five!