Weekly productivity roundup. The chill out and de-stress edition

Is it just me, or does everyone seem really busy lately? It seems like the pace of life just keeps picking up and it’s impossible to keep up with it all. (my opinion on this matter may or may not be influenced by the fact I’m running on about 3 hours sleep after a late night trying to meet a deadline.) Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our productivity is to take a few deep breaths, brew a relaxing cup of tea, and bring everything down a few notches.

Here are some links about how to regain balance, turn down the noise levels, and bring your stress levels under control.

Tips to Sustaining Happiness in Work and Life

Willo O’Brien has several tips for keeping your sanity as an entrepreneur. Understanding your strong points, being aware of your weaknesses, and knowing how to delegate to others when you’re stretched thin are important skills that can make or break your success and happiness.

DON’T PANIC: Why Wasting Time Helps You Stay Sane and Productive

It’s important to remember that slowing down and taking some ‘me time’ can sometimes be exactly what you need to replenish your focus and motivation.

Slowing Down

Sometimes, the pace of life gets too hectic, and you can start to get tunnel vision from trying to deal with it all. Intentionally take some time to go at half-speed, and let the world around you open back up.

Stress Breaks Loops That Hold Short-Term Memory Together

Here’s some science behind why stress is bad for your productivity. It appears that the way our brains access short term memories leaves those memories vulnerable to disruption by stress.

10 Email Filters That Will Reduce Inbox Stress

Email can be a major source of stress. In this more technical post, here are ten email filters you can use to keep your inbox from exploding in your face every time you open it. There are other tools that take this several steps further, such as Sanebox, but this post is a good way to get an easy start on email management.

Instant productivity (and sanity) boost. Lose the bleeps, the sweeps, and the creeps

On a simliar note, turning off notifications on your phone and computer can cause a huge drop in your stress levels. I recently tried turning off everything on my computer and phone that beeps, bounces, blinks or buzzes. It was great, and I can’t see myself ever going back to the way things were before.

And finally, sometimes you just need to take a cue from our old pal the calming manatee and a step back and just do something mindless (so long as you don’t get too wrapped up in it). A short break to peruse the “aww” section of Reddit.com can quickly diffuse your rising stress levels by letting you briefly turn off the analytical part of your brain and have a purely positive emotional response for a minute or two. It totally works! Here, I’ll show you:

My cat likes to do this too

See what I mean? It turns out, looking at pictures of cats on the internet can also make you smart, at least according  to one researcher.

Ok, feeling refreshed? Now go have an awesome and productive week!