I’m a horse person and have been since I was about 2 when I used to throw tantrums to ride the ponies at country fairs. After about eight years of lessons I gave it up due to the cost of the sport and how limited my time was entering junior high. Though I never showed, or really even took up jumping, I still leap at the thought of sharing a moment with these magnificent beasts. There is just something amazing about the connection shared with a horse, something I have come to cherish and will continue to crave for as long as I live.
Fun fact about myself, when traveling, I usually try to work in some type of horseback riding into our itinerary (if possible). Phil and the rest of my family are not as into this sport as I am, but they oblige and occasionally even enjoy it. I have been riding in Mexico, Costa Rica and all over New England, even in the White Mountains.
I typically saddle up with one of my dear friends who owns horses about 30 minutes away from Boston. She has been a rock and encouraged me to get back into it after an almost 10 year hiatus all because she fully understands the bonds horses share with people.
This morning I was lucky enough to ride early. There was an amazing Autumn-like crispness in the air, something that only increases my excitement as my favorite day of the year fast approaches.
When I arrived home on later this afternoon (after an incredible brunch at Sudbury 29), I was bursting with excitement to show Phil pictures from my trail ride. We usually ride next to I encountered a beautiful lake. But this morning the rising sun was burning the fog off the warm water. The mist moved like a rolling wave off of the lake, evaporating in the cool air above. It was magical to watch (I tried my best to capture this feeling in the photo above!).
That moment with nature has set the tone for the rest of the day and likely my week. It rejuvenated me, changing my unhappy grumbles to an enlightened productivity. Seeing something that I only could have seen due to my body’s internal clock has given me purpose to my week.
So, now I ask you this: When do you find yourself the most productive? Some wake up before the sun to workout, check emails, write, meditate. Others find themselves to be the most productive later in the day – when the rest of the world seems to fall asleep, their productivity levels skyrocket. Phil and I are morning people, we exercise, read, or take care of errands all before starting our work days or before noon on the weekends. How do we do this? We usually set the mood for productivity with these three simple tips:
- Get something to drink: Whether it is a relaxing warm cup of tea or coffee, or a large glass of cool crisp lemon water, get your juices flowing with a sip of whatever you need to attack the project or activity you are working on. Hydrate your body as well as your mind!
- It’s a (working) date: Treat your most productive time of day as if it was a make-or-break date with an esteemed colleague. You wouldn’t blow it off, come unprepared, or treat it as a casual dinner with your friend. No, you would take it seriously and approach this time with a clear plan of what you need from them and treat them with the utmost respect. You are the most esteemed colleague there is, don’t come unprepared.
- Breathe: In our minds, productivity isn’t just about how much you can accomplish in a certain amount of time, but the way you go about it. If you’re stressed about what others think about your ideas, anxious because your deadline is fast approaching, or holding your breath during push-ups, you’re wasting valuable energy. Remember to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth when the going gets tough. At the end of it all, the tough gets going – it always does.
Bottom line, experiment what works for you. The important part is finding the time where you are working to get closer to achieving your goals, whether it is losing 10 pounds, finishing a chapter in a book you’re reading, or meditating.
Share with us when you are the most productive and the type of routine you have. We would love to hear what works for you!