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The Up Beat
By Amy Wong

Slow Down and Do More...Really!

Are you always in a rush, hurtling from one commitment to the next with barely a chance to take a breath? I totally know the feeling. It’s been another frenetic week. Yesterday was so crazy I didn’t even get to sit down at my desk to edit a piece until 6 p.m. and by then my brain was too fried for me to write anything inspiring. Arrgh. I like the occasional adrenaline rush but constantly being on fast forward? That’s not good for my productivity or my positivity.

Productivity researchers would agree. Studies have found that people who take short breaks accomplish more tasks each day than those who go-go-go all the time. Not only that, they feel less stressed and tired, which makes staying positive a whole lot easier. Counterintuitive as it sounds, slowing down (a little) actually helps you do more.

So how do you press pause in the midst of a hectic, fast-forward day? I got some great tips from positive thinker and fellow blogger Jon Gordon. He recommends taking a mini-break every hour. Slow down for a few minutes and try one of the following:

1. Stand up and stretch.

2. Look away from the computer and look out the window instead.

3. Sip ice water.

4. Take a walk around the office (or better yet, around the block).

5. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

6. Eat a healthy snack.

7. Have a quick, non-work-related chat with a colleague. Talk about your kids, your pets, your weekend plans, the great movie you just saw.

Do you feel refreshed? Good!

Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).