In “6 Productivity Enhancing Activities for Teachers” is a reflection on the critical points in Elisa Janson Jones’ article “Want Maximum Productivity and Progress? Do this” from the SBO September 2019 magazine. Jones wants us to reflect on our morning rituals. Studies show us how important the beginning of our day is. We often start meeting the demands of others rather than starting the day with activities that help us invest in ourselves, such as meditation, reading, recall, and writing a journal. As a result, it makes sense why so many people are stressed out and anxious.
In order to live more relaxed and fulfilled try the following to add to your morning routine.
1. Start with a hot drink
Starting the day with a hot drink gives you an incentive to get out of bed. For example, this can be in the form of coffee, tea, or even hot cocoa. Jones recommends setting a timer on your coffee maker as you smell the aroma of joy and fresh brew in the air.
2. Get your body moving
Getting your body moving is a great way to wake up and get the juices flowing. You don’t have to go to the gym. Just move and turn your iPod on for 10-45 minutes to some great jams is a great way to get your productivity magic up in the morning.
3. Recall your reasons
Reasons propel us to do what we do. Some things are hard others easy. We all have reasons for why we teach, perform, and follow a calling. Take a moment to recall these reasons to focus in on your motivation. For example, this could be in the form of a vision wall or a simple reminder on your phone. Regardless of your reasons, make sure they inspire you to move in a positive, progressive way.
Educators often have that urge to learn more and master our craft. Often life keeps us busy to the point that even the simple task of picking up a book and reading seems unachievable.
By prioritizing and setting aside a few minutes a day to read, you can get through that list of books that you always meant to read. Start by reading 5 minutes in the morning and see if this can become a routine. Read whatever you want. The cognitive benefits of reading are well worth the time and effort.
5. Write in your journal
Writing in a personal journal can have a variety of benefits. Jones identifies that journals have a history of assisting us in ways such as:
- documenting our life experiences
- evaluating our thoughts
- a place to leave poetic art
- processing our frustrations
- celebrating our successes
- and by creating a blueprint of our future plans.
Much like blogging, journals provide us the opportunity to find our voice and mentally process ways it is good.
As music educators, we are regularly entrenched by sound. Examples include music rehearsals, children chatter or listening to a broadcast. However, Jones points out that there is nothing more helpful to establish clarity than silent meditation. Meditation has been proven time and time again, that productivity increases when the mind is not cluttered.
Jones challenges each of us to get out of bed 15 minutes early and go through a checklist of each of these activities. Take a moment before you go to bed and reflect how much more you accomplished in comparison to the previous days. You might find that these productivity-enhancing activities make you are happier, more motivated and excited to start the day.