“If you don't pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”

― David Allen in G etting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.

Wellness Tip

Fight the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Unlike all of our dinner dates, gym classes, and social gatherings, FOMO hasn’t been canceled this year.

“The fear of missing out on in-person activities has been replaced by the fear of missing out on virtual activities”, says Lalin Anik , a researcher at the University of Virginia who’s been studying FOMO.

According to Anik’s research, FOMO is correlated to a loss of focus, feelings of hopelessness, and sleep issues.

So how can you fight the FOMO?

Research backs self-compassion as a good place to start. To cultivate self-compassion and keep FOMO at bay:

  • Work on fostering strong relationships and a genuine sense of connection
  • Unfollow social media accounts that encourage unhealthy comparisons
  • Practice gratitude journaling
  • Focus on the present, on what you do have and what brings you joy, rather than what you’re missing

If you feel the FOMO creeping in, why not try some of the above? There’s nothing to lose in giving it a shot.

Productivity Tip:

Minimize Decision-Making

While in office, Barack Obama only wore grey or blue suits.

“I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing,” he said in an interview with Vanity Fair . “Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

He has a point. Making decisions is mentally taxing.

That’s why it depletes self-control . Research shows that the more energy we spend on decisions now, the more likely we are to procrastinate, quit, or give in to temptations later.

On the other hand, by focusing our decision-making energy where it most counts, we can avoid decision fatigue and make the right choices more of the time.

Here are some ways to cut down on daily decision-making:

  • Eat the same thing for breakfast each day.
  • Stick to a limited wardrobe. You don’t have to go as extreme as Steve Jobs – who famously wore the same black turtleneck every day – but a limited color palette can make throwing outfits together quicker and easier.
  • Eliminate temptations – e.g. don’t keep unhealthy snacks near your workspace.
  • Make exercise a habit so you don’t have to think about doing it.

Finally, leave big decisions for when you’re rested and refreshed.

For more about making decisions, check out this great TED Talk about the paradox of choice.

Routine Breakdown

Jenny Fleiss, Co-Founder of Jetblack and Rent The Runway

It can’t be easy juggling the life of a busy CEO and board member with motherhood. Here’s how Jenny Fleiss does it.

After waking at 6 am, she:

  • Looks at the day’s schedule and emails, handing off key tasks, and making notes on her to-do list.
  • Has breakfast with her kids. “It’s the time where my husband and I get to spend quality time with our kids before sending them off to school.”
  • Goes running with her husband or to a gym class with a friend.
  • Drops the kids off at school then walks to the office while listening to a podcast.

Why it works:

  • Prioritizing and delegating key tasks can help to set you up for a productive day.
  • Quality time with kids is important. For example, teens report feeling happier, less stressed, and more engaged when they eat meals with their parents.
  • Morning exercise has a raft of benefits (such as these ).
  • Listening to podcasts while walking is a great way to do two productive activities at once

While multitasking doesn’t work when both tasks require focused attention, walking a familiar route puts you on autopilot, allowing you to listen as you go. Just stay alert to your surroundings.

Do you listen to podcasts while walking or commuting? Tell us your favorite.