48. *Make changes automatic through habits. I think making new behaviors automatic is the key to making them stick. Here’s my interview with Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, on how to form new habits.
49. Invest in stress relief strategies that actually work, like: exercising, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends and family, getting a massage, going for a nature walk, meditating, and spending time on a creative hobby.
50. *Take more breaks. Breaks let you step back from your work, recharge, come up with better ideas, slow down, reflect on your work, and ultimately make you a lot more productive.
51. *Start very small. I think one of the keys to becoming more productive is to simply make one small change at a time. The smaller the change you try to make to your life, the more likely you’ll actually make it.
52. Be mindful of when you’re needlessly hard on yourself. According to David Allen, who wrote Getting Things Done, 80% of what you say to yourself in your head is negative. Watch out for when you’re needlessly hard on yourself, so you can have fun on your journey to become more productive.
53. *Make more friends at the office. Office friendships increase your job satisfaction by an average of 50%, make you seven times more engaged at work, and make you 40% more likely to get a promotion!
54. **Look back through your calendar to see who you’ve met with over the last few months. Which meetings gave you the most energy, motivation, happiness, and drive afterward? Schedule more meetings with those people.
55. Lower your expectations. This may sound like strange advice, but lowering your expectations makes you more confident, and lets you relax, have more fun, and not worry about proving yourself to others.
56. *Realize that nobody cares. When you realize that most people don’t care about your success, money, clothes, house, or car, you realize that you’re freer than you originally thought. You can take more risks because your life isn’t set in stone, and you feel a lot freer to follow what you’re passionate about.
57. Eat mindfully. Mindful eating “lets your brain know that you will soon feel full and satisfied,” which prevents you from overeating—a huge drain on your energy.
58. **Use visualizations to become more productive. My favorite visualization: Imagine you have just received an emergency message and you have to leave town tomorrow for a month. What would you make absolutely sure that you got done before you left? Whatever your answer, go to work on that task right now.
59. Seek out conflict instead of pushing it away. You are the most productive when you have a moderate amount of conflict and stress—not a low or high amount.
60. Download Coffitivity (web, Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac). The ambient hum of a coffee shophas been proven to boost your productivity and creativity. Coffitivity simulates that same vibe on your computer.
61. *Every day, recall three things you’re grateful for. This trains your brain to “retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first,” making you more energetic, happier, and more productive.
62. *Every day, journal one great experience you had. “Journaling one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it,” which energizes you and makes you more energetic and happy.
63. Let the air out of your tires every once in a while. No one is a robot, and you shouldn’t take becoming more productive too seriously. You’ll probably even find that you become even more productive when you let the air out of your tires.