As humans are easily distracted. Smartphones, gossip, social media, endless email, mindless web browsing, too much TV, video games, etc. When done in excess, these activities drain you of energy, productivity and ultimately, fulfilment.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five ways to create an environment for greater success and happiness:
- Avoid passive screen time.
Most of us use computer screens to get work done. I’d call those active screens, in which we’re contributing, rather than taking from, the world. On the other hand, passive screen time reinforces the idea of “letting things and life happen to me,” as opposed to activating seeking out and doing things that that are important to you and your family. For maximum success and fulfilment, avoid passive screen time unless it’s something that truly excites you – like a great movie that gets your heart racing.
- Keep a journal.
Research shows that doing so increases gratitude, and that alone can make you happier. But keeping a journal also lets you know yourself better, which in turn will help you make better choices in the future. Since keeping a journal several times a month, I’ve been able to learn from mistakes faster than I used to.
- Say “no” to invitations that don’t resonate with you.
More specifically, decline things that don’t interest, excite or speak to you individually. Saying no more usually means saying yes to yourself more, which results in greater success and more energy to improve and maintain your own health so you can better help others. Moral of the story: be strategic with your availability.
- Declutter your mindshare.
Decluttering creates an environment where you literally have less to think and worry about — fewer thoughts to distract you. That’s a powerful thing to both our productivity and mental well-being. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t reward yourself or splurge on things you love. You totally should. However only do so when you truly enjoy something, as opposed to merely liking it or feeling peer pressure to like something that society suggests you should.
- Play more.
Unstructured play time is as healthy for adults as it is children. The act of play lets our mind wander, which activates it in new and sometimes innovative ways. Of course, more play doesn’t always lead to greater inspiration, but more work certainly doesn’t either. In fact, too much work has been linked to burnout and stale thinking, both of which massively reduce our productivity. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, more play results in greater success and fulfilment.