7 Tips for Staying Productive

7 Tips for Productivity

Staying focused is a task that requires focus itself. So, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations. In my adult life, I have tried all different kinds of “focus-solutions” to achieve greater productivity. These are the tips that changed my life for better productivity.

Throughout my school years I always did well but was constantly distracted. Even in college I struggled to quit procrastinating and to stay on task. I always wondered how those around me were seemingly on top of everything while being supremely organized. It took me forever to figure this out naturally… I found out later on that people I knew were on prescribed medications for these kinds of issues, which was not a route I wanted to take. So, I started my wellness journey to a better mind, body, and quality of life. Here are 7 things you need to try in order to improve clarity and productivity.

1. Get a Good Night's Rest

In another article, I discuss how to improve your rest. Check that out here. The main thing I used to kick-start my now-amazing sleep habits – BATCH Dream Tincture. I wasn’t always a morning person until I got my sleep cycle under control. I used to lie awake until 3 am because my thoughts were racing when I needed them to be still. Now, I’m an 8.5 hours every night girl, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it… even on the weekends.  

2. Get a Planner or Task Booklet

This might be the single most important tip. In order to make life into sizable tasks, get the Passion Planner. Having actionable, bite-sized tasks, and filling them in at exactly what time they should happen gives you a sense of accountability. If you don’t have due dates, your long lists will just become procrastination heaven. Always use an hourly calendar.

3. Turn off Tech

Get rid of the phone. Seriously. If you need to charge, put it outside of your room. Another way to do this would be by placing it on airplane mode. If you’re a music person, download your favorite playlist in “offline” mode. This will help you to tune out unnecessary distractions and focus on the task at hand. To help ease my nerves with tech-related anxiety, I use BATCH Softgel capsules featured in the top image.

4. Set Personal & Work Related Goals

Again, the Passion Planner was my kryptonite for this tip. Every month you will reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you wish to accomplish in the future. Have a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and 3 years goal brainstorm. Write down everything and anything that comes to mind, realistic or not. Then, map out one that you are super passionate about. 

5. Prioritize Everything

Constantly be prioritizing your goals. It’s not enough to make lists, always order them or color code them in a way that signals their priority status to you. If you focus on the things that matter, you will feel more accomplished and ready to take on the other tasks on your list.

6. Exercise Daily

Exercising daily helps to clear your mind, and releases endorphins that lead to a healthier you. Since my sleep-deprived days, I’ve started to form backaches. I’ve been using this Fire & Ice Balm from BATCH before I go to sleep. I apply a few layers on my lower back area, then I apply some under my neck just for an aromatherapeutic experience.

6. Have a Routine

No matter how much of a night owl you are, spending your days productively instead of sleeping-in is so much more rewarding. The best way to jump start a routine is to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time everyday – no matter what. The dreaded snooze button is in between you and your most productive self. 

7. Listen to Your Body & Take Breaks

With all of the stress to be perfectly productive, know when to listen to your mind and body when it tells you what it needs. It’s important to have a balance, and to know when to stop working so hard. Ultimately productivity will be strained if you are exhausted from taking all of these steps. However, getting into these habits will be hard at first but over time they’ll be rewarding. If you practice these steps like I did, I ended up have much more energy and focus throughout the days. 

How to Grow Aloe Vera

How to Grow Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a simple and beneficial plant to grow in your household. With so many healing properties, it’s hard to walk down a beauty aisle and not see it listed as an ingredient at least once. Aloe vera is rich in vitamin C & E to keep your skin young and healthy, as well as moisturized. People have been using this plant as a natural remedy for years, even applying its healing gel to treat all kinds of topical ailments and sunburns. No matter the reason you’re growing aloe, here are the steps you should take to nurture growth for your aloe plant. This may be one of the easiest plants to grow, especially if you start by purchasing a live plant from Home Depot, Lowes, or online.

1. Understand it is a Succulent.

Water it about every 3 weeks. make sure the soil does not remain damp.
Test the soil with your finger to make sure it is dry before watering.

Although you may be inclined to water it every day, do not do this (it will die). From personal experience, I have had an aloe vera plant grow with over a month of no water. As a cactus-like plant, their root systems are shallow and spread out so when it rains in the wild, the water can be absorbed quickly from the soil’s surface before it evaporates. Less is more when it comes to water if you don’t want root rot.

2. Cactus potting soil mix.

use a pot with good irrigation and use a screen over drainage hole - optional.
Use a soil designed for aloe - Cactus blends will do.

Online, reviews suggest trying Miracle-Gro Cactus Soil. Aloe needs good drainage, which is why it is important to have a rocky or cactus-specific texture of a soil bed.

3. Aloe is native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian peninsula.

Ensure it is receiving lots of light weather artificial or natural.
Aloe's ideal temperature is 55-80ºF.

Here it’s native conditions are hot and rainy (summer), making it a subtropical plant. In the winter it has a cooler and drier climate, making it an adaptable plant.

Growing Aloe from a Seed

This method assumes that you have potted the live plant, however if you are looking to grow aloe from a seed, you should click here for a step by step guide.

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation: Everything You Need to Know

meditation on rock

Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation: Everything You Need to know

One of the most powerful mental hacks out there is meditation. Learning meditation is like learning any new skill. It takes practice to learn a routine that he has never been worked on before. Mindfulness may sound intimidating, but is simply the practice of focusing the mind on a particular thought, object, or activity. Through mindfulness, one can achieve a clear, calm, and stable mental and emotional state. Meditation can also help you to break negative habits, reshape consciousness, and boost your health. Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is an exercise in mindfulness that has health benefits backed by scientific research.

Whether you are just starting with meditation or want to try something more powerful, Sa Ta Na Ma is a great exercise to try if you want to feel calm and refreshed. It will clear the subconscious mind of traumas and negative emotions, along with bringing increased mental clarity. You can adapt it to several lengths but practicing it for 12 minutes has proven to be time-efficient while still providing beneficial results.

The Origin of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Sikh temple; the origin of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation

The Sa Ta Na Ma mantra is rooted in Sikhism philosophy. It originated from the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century and is commonly translated to “truth is our identity”. Sa Ta Na Ma is the most important meditation in Kundalini and was introduced to Western society by Yogi Bhajan. Sometimes Sa Ta Na Ma is just called Kirtan Kriya (KEER-tun KREE-a), the word derived from the traditional Indian language Sanskrit. Kirtan means ‘praise’ or ‘song’ whereas Kriya means ‘actions’ or ‘to do’. In Kirtan Kriya, each Syllable of the Sa Ta Na Ma mantra has a unique and specific meaning.

  • Sa– birth, beginning, infinity, and the totality of cosmos
  • Ta– existence, life, and creativity manifest
  • Na– change, death, and transformation of consciousness
  • Ma– resurrection, rebirth, and regeneration

Tip: The “a” in each syllable should be pronounced as “ah”.

Benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

To date, there have been three studies published that prove the health benefits of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation. Two of them are from the University of Pennsylvania. Scientists recognize Sa Ta Na Ma meditation as a powerful tool for preventing Alzheimer’s disease. A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, examined 15 participants from age 52 to 77 that were having memory issues. After trying Sa Ta Na Ma meditation at home for eight weeks, the participants experienced improved memory.

Another important finding was that the participants experienced better cerebral blood flow in the brain. Blood flow in the frontal and parietal lobes was also improved (both of these are related to memory retrieval). The study also showed that this practice helps with depression and makes people more resilient by enhancing brain chemistry. It has also become useful in minimizing stress levels and refining short term memory.

Mantra & The Use of Different Voices

You’ve likely heard of mantras before; it simply means an often repeated word or phrase. Some people have “carpe diem” (Latin for seize the day) as their mantra and others choose “live laugh love”. According to ancient yogic practice, mantras carry vibrations and are believed to hold sacred energy. Sa Ta Na Ma is the mantra used for this particular mediation. While repeating it, always keep in mind there are three voices. The first is singing, which represents the voice of action. The second is whispering, which represents the voice of the inner mind. Finally, there is silence. This represents your spiritual voice. Here you repeat the mantra mentally to yourself. You don’t use the words aloud; instead, say them to yourself. Using all three voices is a significant part of Sa Ta Na Ma meditation.

Mudras

Mudra simply translates to “motion of hands”. These sacred hand positions can have a profound energetic effect on your mind and body. Mudras in Sa Ta Na Ma meditation activate pressure points that help energy flow to the brain more efficiently. This flow of energy plays a vital role in clearing the subconscious mind, bringing great inner peace, and encouraging physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. The mudras involved in this meditation correlate to a particular syllable of Sa Ta Na Ma.

Guyan Mudra

Sa – the index finger (for wisdom – Jupiter)

While chanting Sa, press the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index (or pointer) finger. Experts think that this connection brings wisdom, knowledge, and releases a person from limitations. It also increases air elements within the body, creating a positive effect on emotions and empowering the nervous system.

Shuni Mudra

Ta – the middle finger (for patience – Saturn)

While chanting Ta, hold your thumb to your middle finger. This connection is said to be vital for bringing patience and purity. This connection also increases the cosmic elements within the body, creating positive effects on human intuition and thought.

Surya Mudra

Na – the ring finger (for energy – Sun)

While chanting Na, press your thumb to your ring finger. This connection brings vitality and aliveness by increasing the earth elements in your body while decreasing fire elements. Experts believe that this connection creates a positive effect on the body’s inner organs, bones, tendons, and muscles.

Na - ring finger movement

Buddhi Mudra

Ma – the pinky finger (communication – Mercury)

While chanting Ma, hold your thumb to the tip of your pinky finger. This connection supports clear communication. The thumb and pinky finger connection is said to reduce water elements in the body. It also helps to minimize symptoms of excessive hormones and water retention, like watery eyes, runny noses, and loose bowels.

The Use of Visualizations

When it comes to manifestation and clearing the mind, visualizations are an essential tool. The mental focus for the Kirtan Kriya in Kundalini yoga is known as the golden cord, an energy pathway that connects pituitary glands. While repeating in the different voices and using the related finger touches, imagine the vibration of each syllable flowing up to your Sahasrara chakra. This is also known as the crown chakra which is pinpointed at the top of the head. Then, feel the energy flowing out through the Ajna chakra. Also known as the third eye, it is located in between and just above the eyebrows. The glands located at these two chakras are directly associated with our spiritual connection, enlightenment, intuition.

sa ta na ma meditation

How to Do Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation

Putting it All Together

Sa Ta Na Ma meditation is composed of the three parts already covered: mantra, mudra, and visualization. Each carries equal importance. All three parts should be practiced simultaneously and with full attention. Mental focus and precision are vital. You definitely won’t be perfect to start, so don’t be discouraged. As you’ve figured out by now, Sa Ta Na Ma is rather complex. However, this shouldn’t stop a beginner from trying it out because you’ll quickly get better at it after only a few times. In order to experience the benefits mentioned above, follow these instructions:

  1. Sit with your legs crossed and a straight spine. Close your eyes and bring the mental focus to the chakra also known as your third eye. Make sure you are sitting comfortably. Rest your hands on your knees with your palm turned upward. With each syllable, imagine the sound flowing in through the top of your head (crown chakra) and out the middle of your head (third eye).
  2. Begin to sing “Sa Ta Na Ma” for two minutes.
  3. Then, whisper “Sa Ta Na Ma” for the next two minutes.
  4. For the next four minutes, say the mantra silently in your head.
  5. Return to whispering “Sa Ta Na Ma” for two more minutes
  6. Finish by singing “Sa Ta Na Ma” for the last two minutes

While chanting the Sa Ta Na Ma Mantra press thumbs with all four fingers as discussed earlier. Make sure to press hard enough so you can feel the pressure and stay awake. However, you shouldn’t press so hard that it feels strenuous or hurts. Find a nice middle ground and keep repeating this process in a stable rhythm. Also, imagine the golden cord with each syllable you repeat, and make sure to do this visualization throughout the meditation process. At the end, to come out of the meditation exercise, inhale deeply, make sure to stretch your hands above your head, and then bring them down slowly as you exhale. Shake your hands and body for a minute. This will help to release energy and wake you up.

Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Essential oils have been used for years for all kinds of ailments. From headaches to bug repellent, there are so many natural compounds that can be found to help with life’s aches and pains. A form of relaxation known as aromatherapy has taken the beauty community by storm. Below is a list of a few anxiety-relieving oils for your aromatherapy device.

1. Lavender

A tried and true scent for mental relief. Chances are you’ve grown up with this oil, as it’s found in almost every popular body product. It’s even been adopted into cuisine by coffee shops and chefs compressing the lavender into syrups for added flavor. It has maintained a common belief in its ability to reduce stress and improve mood, as well as acting as a natural sleep-aid. It can be found in our Calming lotion.

2. Ylang Ylang

It is a commonly held belief in aromatherapists that ylang ylang can help to reduce stress & anxiety. It has a history of traditional and herbal treatments for diseases like malaria, rheumatism, gout, and headaches. You can find this essential oil in our Calming lotion.

3. Lemon

Lemon, although it is a stimulating scent, it helps to aid in overall clarity and mindfulness. People have claimed it to fight exhaustion and inflammation. This oil can be found in many natural household cleaning products, which makes sense due to its resistance to harmful bacteria like E. coli. and staphylococcus.

4. Rose

Rose oil has been found to protect against bacteria and fungi on top of decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s been noted that rose oil allergies are less common than other oils, but a patch test should always be done on a localized part of the skin to ensure a safe and non-reactive essential oil experience.

5. Chamomile

Many are familiar with this flower in their bed-time tea routine, but it actually has healing properties. When distilled, the sweetness of the flower can be a relaxing experience. Some studies have even suggested using chamomile as a treatment for insomnia.

In Summary

Aromatherapy, or the act of breathing or using essential oils for treatments of any kind, can reduce everyday stresses. Essential oils are made from plants, herbs, roots, petals… really any kind of plant matter. It is believed that certain oils can soothe and ease different parts of the body by sending messages through smell receptors to the nervous system in your brain. If you’ve tried other medications and nothing’s worked, you may want to try the homeopathic approach to anxiety relief.