Productivity Hack: Find Your Reset Button(s)

If you’re stagnating with work, trying to (productively) fill a short window of time before you leave the house, or just want to feel refreshed, it’s helpful to have a go-to task (or tasks in my case) that serve as a purposeful reset.

I’ve settled on a trio of related activities: using the washroom, brushing my teeth, and refilling my water bottle. It feels productive and healthy; plus, brushing my teeth with mint toothpaste is refreshing and gives a little boost to my mood and energy levels. 

If that reset doesn’t hit the mark, what about:

  • lighting a candle
  • walking around the block
  • doing a few minutes of deep breathing exercises
  • watering/pruning your potted plants
  • making a cup of coffee or herbal tea
  • doing a minute each of a: wall sit, plank, and child’s pose
  • reading a few pages from a book of poetry
  • texting a friend
  • writing in a journal
  • sweeping the floor or wiping down bathroom counters

I’ll run through this reset before I head out the door to do errands, between meetings, when I’ve hit a mid-afternoon slump, or when it’s time to meet the kids at the bus stop. In addition to giving me a break from responsibilities and clearly marking transition points in the day, once I’ve taken care of these basic maintenance/self-care tasks, I’m less likely to need to interrupt future work or leisure activities. I won’t frantically have to look for a washroom at the grocery store or wonder if I have spinach in my teeth during that pitch to investors.

And drinking more water, well, that’s rarely a bad thing.

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