Many people struggle to keep up with the fast pace of life and in the process they end up neglecting themselves and their needs. In the worst case scenario, they get stuck in the never-ending cycle of going to work, running errands, getting some sleep and then going to work again, without having any real fun in between. What does this come down to? The answer is a lack of effective time management and the implementation of unproductive techniques that result in the work-life imbalance.
The reality is that most workers find that the twenty-four hours a day aren’t enough to do the things they want. No matter how desperately they try to fit all of their important tasks around a manageable timetable, all the work is still left unfinished.
I am sure that you too have experienced this feeling at some point. How many times have you consulted your To-Do list at the end of the day, only to find that you haven’t been as productive as you intended to? And how did that make you feel? Happy or unhappy? Dissatisfied or stressed? Clearly “time is money” and making sure you are spending it wisely will help you lead a much more productive and fulfilling life.
But if you are using a To-Do list to get things done, you should stop immediately. As Tonny Robbins supports productivity is all about working smarter – not harder. While a To-Do list does keep you busy, it isn’t very effective and by no means does it make you more productive. Yes, I agree that it gives you the satisfaction of completing those small tasks you need to do during the day, but in the end it leaves you with nothing more than the feeling of not really accomplishing anything.
On that note, you need to learn how to do things the right way. Making the time to entertain yourself every single day is an essential to doing work and it contributes to being super productive. While I am not simply suggesting you need to go back to being a college student again and start attending late-night parties, you might want to inject the element of fun in your busy schedule that will bring your spark of creativity back, which is a necessity for being productive.
So what’s the best and fun way to stay productive that is scientifically proven to be effective? Well, that would be dancing…
Dancing it Off
Numerous studies have proven that exercise has many benefits for your body, and the same applies for dancing. Apart from the obvious consequences of dancing that include stamina improvement, flexibility and muscle toning, though, this type of exercise is extremely beneficial to your mental health and can improve the way you perform tasks.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine report, frequent dancing can reduce the risk of dementia – a chronic disorder that is related to mental processes caused by brain disease that affects memory, language and thinking – by 76 percent. The study showed that people who engage in this leisure activity are more resistant to dementia and as such have greater cognitive reserve and increased complexity of neuronal synapses.
As dance instructor Richard Powers from Stanford University explains, dancing can be effective as it helps you create new neural paths increasing your neural connectivity. That’s because it encourages several brain functions to be active such as kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional. Essentially, this allows you to think and react faster in an attempt to catch up with the music or whatever your partner is doing.
Experts have also supported that the type of dancing you choose to engage in has an important role in the overall effect. For example, group dancing may be more beneficial than you think: Not only does this increases your alertness, but it improves your mood and acts as a great stress reliever. If you have ever been to a pre-work rave party you know, it’s true. If you haven’t though, doing so might be a really good idea to help you stay productive.
Other types of dancing that have been associated with creativity and mental ability include modern-contemporary dancing that requires implementing improvisation and thinking ‘in the moment’. According to Live Science, research shows that modern-contemporary dancers have the highest levels of verbal and image-based creativity in contrast to jazz-musical and ballet-dancers.
Since creativity and productivity complement each other, it’s important to find that middle ground that will help you retain your inspiration, excitement and energy to produce quality work.
Ultimately dancing should help you become more productive in three different ways:
- Boosting your work performance: Working harder or faster
- Increasing your stamina and concentration: Working longer hours
- Improving your efficiency and organisation
Productivity experts have long tested the magical effects of dancing and how these can improve your overall effectiveness, so it’s high time you include this exercise in your daily routine.
The secret to getting stuff done is planning. Create a fixed schedule between your work and social responsibilities and commit yourself to those activities that allow you to spend your alone time productively. Are you trying to learn or improve a new skill? Invest at least an hour of your time doing something whether it is dancing, exercising, painting or playing music or doing anything else that helps you relax. Doing so will allow you to recharge your batteries and get you back in the mood of doing work.
While scheduling every minute or every hour of your time may sound like something a control freak would do, it’s necessary to achieve a balance in your life and avoid the real enemy, procrastination.
What’s your approach to spending time effectively? Would you ‘dance to it’? Let me know what you think in the comments section below…