4 Ways to Increase Your Productivity

One of the nice comments I got on my last post offering additional reasons “Not to Die Today” was from our founder over at foundingDulcinea. His two-part comment was really funny:

#11. Because you promised me you’d run the NYC Marathon with me in November. I don’t want to run four hours while looking back the whole time saying “Rach, you there ?”

Regarding #8, there is an afterlife. But before you get to experience it, you have to successfully complete a CAPTCHA form, so the lord knows you are a real person.

The second part is funny for obvious reasons. Nice work, Mark. The first part is funny because because the idea of running a marathon makes me laugh. I definitely did NOT make any such promise. (But I didn’t promise I wouldn’t either.) Still, Mark can be quite convincing, and I have no doubt that if he was around this fall when I quite happily gave up after mile 12 that I might have kept going.

The thing is, Mark really believes that anyone can run a marathon. He also makes these great analogies about how running applies to life and anyone can do anything. I’m hoping that the inspirational part is more important to him than the 26.2 miles part, because while I’m very committed to hard work, I am somewhat less interested in completing anything that requires me to eat “performance goo” at mile 7. (And 13. And 22. Can you say, “This orange-flavored ooze tastes nothing like an orange?)

Instead, I’m going deeper into my yoga practice by completing an Anusara Level I immersion. This also requires dedication (40 hrs. of training) and fortunately, many great analogies about how to do better work can be shared by yoga and running. How’s that for collaboration?

4 (Yoga/Running) Inspired Ways To Increase Your Productivity:

1. Build your foundation. Mark has mentioned that once he completed one marathon, he was set more ambitious goals for his next marathon, because he trusted that he’d be able to complete it. In Yoga, you take great care to get grounded, starting with your fingers and toes and extending through your limbs and your body. Once you’re stabilized, reaching deeper into a posture feels easy. (As I’ve mentioned before, if you are not stable, you will end like up like Rihanna and take back your abusive boyfriend out of fear and insecurity.)

2. Contract Before You Expand. In Yoga, before you can really go the full extension of a posture, you must contract, or tighten your muscles to build muscular energy. Then you go for it. In running, getting in shape for short, intense sprints will gear you up to have durability on the long haul. In life, you need to get rid of all your loose ends before you can use what’s left aim high.

3. Embrace the Unknown. If you’ve set a high goal for yourself, it’s likely in an uncharted territory. That means that once you’ve done steps 1. and 2., you need to trust that you’ve got the navigation skills to head some where you haven’t been, whether that’s deep into a twist, up to mile 15, or into a new tier of productivity.

4. Don’t Fear Falling. Now, as a neurotic Jew from the Upper East Side, fear of failure dominates my life. However, to increase my productivity, I try to avoid fear of falling. In Yoga, if you feel you’ve set yourself up correctly, there are times when you’ve just go for it and not be worried if you take a spill. Once you’ve done everything you can to get aligned, it’s your time to try, regardless of the outcome. Similarly, in running, once you’ve trained it’s time to go. And if you have to walk, you walk a mile. (Or so I hear. Since I refused to run more than 12 miles, I haven’t had to walk yet.) In life, same deal. Once you know you’ve put in the work, you reach. As Mark has said, if you succeed, you’ll feel awesome. And if you fail, you’ll feel awesome too, because you’ll know you tried.

Namaste.

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