“Resilience isn't some fixed trait. It's not elusive, that some people have and some people don't. It actually requires very ordinary processes. Just the willingness to give them a go.”

- In a TED Talk, Lucy Hone shares three actionable strategies for being more resilient.

Wellness Tip

Get Your Workout Gear On

Ever heard of “enclothed cognition”? It’s basically a fancy term for the way our clothes can influence our mood and behavior. (Feel free to pull that one out next time someone questions your outfit. You’re welcome.)

Researchers coined the term after finding that people do better at an attention-related task when wearing a lab coat. So, yes: people in lab coats really are smarter!

Why? It has to do with the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing. It’s for this same reason that getting into your workout gear can motivate you to work out. By dressing the part, you’re playing the part – and your brain will start to believe you’re the motivated athlete those slick running shoes suggest you are.

So if you’re struggling to get your workout routine happening, try this tomorrow: just put on your workout gear. It’s a small and simple first step that may give you the motivation you need to keep going.

Productivity Tip

Expand Your Definition of Productivity

The Covid19 pandemic has impacted more than our social habits. For many of us, it’s also changed our definition of what it means to be productive.

According to a survey from YouGov and Evernote, people are living life at a slower pace and scheduling fewer activities – which, for a stressed-out nation, may not be a bad thing.

On top of that, our definition of productivity has broadened. Baking cookies? Doing arts and crafts? Remodeling your kitchen? Congrats - you’re being productive!

This shift in thinking could be one of the positives to come out of these otherwise trying times. Learning new skills does great things for our brains. And, given we’re so prone to overworking, giving our attention to other pursuits might help us to nail that ever-elusive work-life balance.

So when you’re thinking about ways to be more productive, here’s an idea: consider that productivity can be applied to more than just work and career. Being productive is doing anything that contributes to the greater health and happiness of you and others. It looks different to different people – and that’s totally okay.

Routine Breakdown

Craig Ballantyne, Author, Entrepreneur & Fitness Expert

“The early morning hours are my most creative and productive,” says Craig Ballantyne, who’s built five 7-figure companies and written multiple books. “Everyone has a “magic time” during the day when they are 3-5 times more productive, efficient, creative, and energetic.”

Here’s his routine:

  • Gets up at 3:45 am so he can start writing at 4 am.
  • After about an hour of writing, he moves into his morning meditation practice.
  • Walks his dog and does a workout.

Why it works

  • It’s true that our bodies operate in cycles, and peak periods of energy differ from person to person. By rising early, Ballantyne maximizes his own peak time to do his most important work.
  • Various studies (like this one and this one) suggest that meditation improves attention span and focus.
  • Morning exercise gets your blood pumping and oxygen flowing, which in turn gives you an energy boost to start the day.

A key takeaway from Ballantyne? Use your times of peak focus to do your most important tasks for the day.

“I encourage everyone to keep a time and energy journal for each day, tracking when you are most creative and productive,” says Ballantyne. “You’ll quickly identify your magic time, and then it’s up to you to ruthlessly protect it from others and leverage it so that you get ahead in life.”

From there, you can use your Panda Planner to schedule your day’s activities around peak times. Give it a try – we’d love to hear about your experiences.