Ayurvedic Routines for Improved Productivity
This culture tends to promote and increase the Ayurvedic dosha of Vata. Vata is known as being extremely inventive, intuitive and intelligent. So why is it that these days the aspects of Vata that are more common are lack of focus, poor memory and inability to concentrate. That is because our lives our so full it can be hard to keep the mobile aspect of vata in balance. This is where healthy and seasonally appropriate routines come in. By having routines in place we can leverage the power of vata and get access to its inventive and idealistic nature. The four routines below will assist you in this endeavor. Vata tends to bite off more than they can chew and get overwhelmed so don’t fall into that trap. Implement these one week at a time or wait until you have success with one routine until you shift your energy to initiating and maintaining another one.
Do Important and Urgent Things Together
Think about the time of day when you have the most energy and focus. For many of us this is first thing in the morning after we have had our breakfast. Set aside up to four hours to focus on the most difficult or important tasks that need to get done. That way you will feel like you have really accomplished something. The four hours from 6-10 tends to be the best as this is the Kapha time of day and you will be supported by the stability and steadfastness to accomplish what you have set out to do. When vata is out of balance it is common to accomplish a lot, but nothing of real value. By staying focused on your most difficult and rewarding tasks during kapha time you will make more incremental progress towards your higher level goals.
Batch all your communication activities
Many of us waste valuable time constantly checking email or chatting on Facebook. This can be avoided if we have set aside specific times on our calendar for communications. I recommend spending about an hour at 12 and 4 for email, texts, skype, phone, FB chats, etc. By grouping everything together you will not be distracted. Since an imbalance of vata will make your more distracted than usual anyway this can really help you to stay on task. If you receive calls don’t pick up and call people back at these times. Some people even go so far as to inform people that they only respond to requests at these times in order to minimize unnecessary requests. Depending on your lifestyle this may also work for you.
Group physical tasks together
Your calendar is staring to fill up, but there are still necessary activities that may need to get done on a daily basis like exercise or recreation. It is best to have these tasks at a similar time each day and to group them together. If you need to do yardwork then combine it with your afternoon run. By batching your physical activity you can make better use of your time. Not only because the cloths you wear for both are similar, but because if you only have two hours for physical activities then you will use your time wisely and finish garden work and workout in the same time. This also sets up an internal clock that supports you metabolically. This means that by doing physical exercise at the same time each day you become more likely to sustain this good habit. As our mental energy increases our physical energy decreases, by doing physical work you reduce mental energy to a more sustainable level that can help you achieve your long term goals.
Family time with no interruptions
It may be easy to feel like you could squeeze out another hour of work at the end of the day, but if you have followed the previous three recommendations that will not be necessary. In that case you can give all your attention to your family. By setting aside quality time with and putting it in your calendar you will be able to be fully present with your family and not be plagued by interruptions. Social time and family time are extremely important for a balanced mind and body. Remember it is the quality of your work that counts, not the quantity. Doing more work will not bear the results you need unless that work is of good quality.
Grouping activities this way is a method for creating more presence and mindfulness in your day to day. If you are constantly multitasking and running from activity to activity then your mind will get sped up and you will feel like there is always more that needs to be done. If however you have a very specific routine then you will respond to that routine by really focusing on what you need to accomplish and completing things in a timely matter. This will improve the quality of your life because you will be more engaged and present with the activities that you are pursuing on a daily basis. Remember there are exceptions to every rule and sometimes your routine may have to shift seasonally. Try and maintain this routine when you travel as travel increases vata. Eventually you will receive all the inventive, insightful and innovative qualities vata has to offer.