Ways to Increase Productivity

Everyone struggles with productivity from time to time, but it’s important to find ways to increase your productivity when you’re feeling stuck. To help you be more productive in your daily life, we compiled a list of strategies that you can use when completing tasks. 

  1. Find your motivations

Asking yourself why you want to be more productive can be an essential step in starting and completing tasks. If you want to get more tasks done while you’re at work, your motivation might be financial security. Imagining the end results of your work can motivate you to follow through with your productivity goals. 

  1. Prioritize tasks 

Prioritizing your tasks instead of multitasking can assist in reducing burnout, meaning you can get more done throughout the day. Trying to do everything at once often leads to decreased efficiency, while planning out what tasks you need to complete and attacking them one at a time can produce better results. 

  1. Break down tasks 

When you have an intimidating task you need to complete, it can be hard to even start working on it. Viewing a huge task as a set of smaller tasks can be less intimidating and more easily attainable. Based on the amount of time you have to complete this task, you can figure out how many of those smaller tasks you need to finish daily until you’ve completed the overarching task. 

  1. Group similar tasks 

Oftentimes, we don’t consider how switching from polar opposite tasks can effect our productivity. When we’re completing tasks, we often enter into a certain mode of thinking. Once we have to move onto a different task, it can be hard to switch into a new mode of thinking. Grouping similar tasks together can help prevent this. For example, if you have to respond to an email, plan on responding to all of them at once instead of answering them throughout the day. 

  1. Identify your peak hours 

Peak hours are those times in the day when you are the most productive. If you’re a morning person, you might find that your peak hours are earlier in the day. To maximize productivity, you should plan on completing your high-priority tasks during these peak hours. Less urgent tasks that don’t require a lot of strategic thinking are best to save for times outside of your peak hours. 

How to Keep up With Your Resolutions

It can be easy to come up with resolutions for the New Year, but it’s hard to keep up with your resolutions. By February, the majority of people who set resolutions for themselves will end up giving up. To help you become the person you want to be for the New Year, here are some tips on how to follow through with your resolutions. 

  1. Create small goals

It can be hard to stay motivated when the overall goal can’t be achieved overnight. To combat this, it’s important to create small goals that you can reward yourself for achieving. This also helps to mark your progress throughout the year. Seeing that the resolution you set for yourself is actually working will help you keep pushing to achieve the overall goal. 

  1. Use positive affirmations 

When following through with your resolution, there will always be times where you feel like you can’t do it. Using positive affirmations not only helps with motivation, but it also helps you keep a positive mindset. Anytime that you’re working on your resolution, make sure to give yourself a little pep talk. 

  1. Take breaks

It’s important to remember that following through with a resolution isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress. Changing your lifestyle overnight is not easy, so taking a break from time to time can be essential in achieving your goals. Of course taking a break is not appropriate for some resolutions, but if your goal is to lose weight, taking a cheat day can act as a reward and help you realize how much progress you’ve made. 

  1. Adjust as you go 

Setting a plan for yourself is important when achieving your resolution, but that plan might not work out. Many people give up once things don’t go according to plan, but realizing that your resolution can still be achieved through different means can prevent you from giving up. Always check in with your plan and figure out what will work best for yourself going forward. 

  1. Remember the purpose of the resolution

During those times where you want to give up, you’ll want to remember why you decided to set that resolution for yourself in the first place. You set that goal for a reason and you have to ask yourself if you still want to achieve that goal. Most of the time, the answer will be yes. Imagine the person you will be once you achieve your goal and imagine how proud of yourself you will be.

Activities for Fall

Fall has just begun! That means it’s time to start enjoying those activities that are reserved specifically for fall. If you want ideas to add onto your list of fall activities, this is the list for you! 

  1. Make Apple Cider

Making apple cider is the perfect activity for a day spent inside. Not only will it make the perfect drink for any meal, but it will also make your whole house smell amazing! . We recommend checking out an apple orchard near you to get fresh apples for your cider! 

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe 

Apple Orchards near Lake Geneva

  1. Go to a Pumpkin Patch 

If you have a whole day off, going to the pumpkin patch and heading back home to make a jackolantern is the perfect way to spend a fall day. While you’re cutting your pumpkins, don’t forget to save the pumpkin seeds to make a nice snack! 

Easy Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Pumpkin Patches near Lake Geneva 

  1. Make a Pie

This is not an activity exclusive to the fall season, but if you have left over pumpkin or apples from the previous two activities, consider turning those leftovers into a delicious pie. If you’re not the biggest fan of pie, it can also make the perfect gift!

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe

  1. Have a Scary Movie Marathon  

Everyone has those movies that give them that nostalgic feeling of the fall season. Maybe you want to save some of your favorites for when Halloween is closer, but if you have a few movies that you’ve been wanting to watch, reserve a night to watch a few! This is also the perfect time to sip on your apple cider and snack on some pumpkin seeds. 

  1. Have a photoshoot

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to have a photoshoot, remember that the leaves are only going to be colorful for a few weeks out of the year! Head out to a hiking trail or your local park and you’ll find the perfect spot to take some pictures with the changing leaves. 

Hiking Trails Near Lake Geneva

Fall DIY’s

Fall is less than a week away, that means it’s time to start decorating! If you’re a crafty person who prefers to make their decorations, then we have a few DIY’s that you have to try this season. 

  1. Fabric Pumpkins

This is the perfect DIY to put your old socks and leftover fabrics to use. With some basic sewing skills, fluff, and rice, you’re able to turn your old socks into a cute centerpiece that can be reused throughout the years. 

How to Make Fabric Pumpkins From Old Socks

  1. Embroidery Hoop Wreath 

If you happen to have an embroidery hoop laying around, you’d be surprised to know that it can be made into a beautiful wreath! With just a few faux flowers and a hot glue gun, your embroidery hoop is transformed into an outdoor decoration that will have your neighbors asking where you got it from.

Fall Embroidery Hoop Wreath 

  1. Mason Jar Leaf Lanterns 

If you’re not using your mason jars for jam, turn them into a leaf lantern! All you need for this DIY is a mason jar, some fall leaves, a mini candle, a sponge, and some modge podge. Once complete, light the candle inside and you have a mason jar leaf lantern! 

Mason Jar Leaf Lanterns 

  1. Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland

With just a few pine cones, some string, gold paint, and a few tools from around the house, you’re able to make a garland that you can hang anywhere in your house. Though you could leave the gold paint out of the equation to make this DIY easier, a little gold helps to make it stand out! 

Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland

  1. Pumpkin Succulent Planters

If you’re a plant lover, then this is a DIY that you have to try! All you need is styrofoam pumpkins, some succulents and dirt, and a few tools to make a pumpkin succulent planter. This DIY is one that will have to be maintained throughout the season, but it’s definitely worth the effort. 

How to Make Fall Succulent Planters

Easy Ways To Make Someone’s Day

Everyday we get to decide how we want to spend our day. Some days we wake up in a grouchy mood where we just want to get through the day and get back home. Other days we wake up in a good mood where we want to spread kindness to those around us. For those days when you’re feeling extra kind, here are some ideas on how you can make someone else’s day. 

  1. Text Someone

If someone is on your mind and you want to make their day, sending a nice text is one of the easiest things you can do. This works especially well for people you haven’t talked to in a while; letting them know that you’re thinking of them will definitely brighten their day. 

  1. Pay It Forward

When you’re stopping for breakfast or coffee in the morning, think about paying it forward by paying for the person behind you. This can set off a chain of people paying it forward as well, meaning that your decision to make one person’s day better will influence others to do the same. 

  1. Donate 

Though you might not see the effects of this action, donating something to a local thrift shop or charity will impact someone’s life who could use a good day. One way you can do this is by skipping your morning coffee and using the money saved to donate to a charity of your choice. 

  1. Flowers

If you know someone who you want to be extra kind to, the perfect gift that never disappoints are flowers. We usually give people flowers on important occasions, so giving someone flowers on a normal day makes this gesture even more special. 

  1. Smile 

One smile can make a person’s entire day. There’s a good possibility that you’ll pass by someone who isn’t having a good day. So next time you’re walking down the street, try smiling at people passing by. That action will either not affect that person’s day at all, or make that person’s entire day. 

Labor Day Activities

The first Monday in September is just five days away. This means it’s time to start planning how you want to spend your Labor Day this year! For those of you who are looking for new ways to enjoy Labor Day, here’s a list of some activities to try. 

  1. Try a New Recipe

We all have our go to recipes, and when we’re busy, we don’t take the time to branch out and try new things. If you have this Labor Day off from work, take some time to make that recipe you’ve been dying to try. 

  1. Set up an Outdoor Movie

If you’ve ever been to an outdoor movie, you know how much fun it can be to just relax outside while being captivated by a movie. You can get this same experience at home with just a projector, pillows, and blankets. If you don’t have a projector, pull up a movie on your laptop instead! Even if you don’t have Labor Day off this year, you can still end your day with an outdoor movie. 

10 Fun Ideas For An Outdoor Movie Night

  1. Have a Cookout

Having a cookout is always a good way to spend a day off. You get a great Labor Day meal and amazing leftovers for the rest of the week! This is also a great time to try out that new recipe we mentioned earlier. 

  1. Picnic 

Having a picnic is the perfect activity for any day. You get to choose the location and what food you want to bring. It can be as fancy or laid back as you want it to be, it could even be right in your front yard! Whatever you choose, you won’t regret spending that time outside. 

  1. Hike 

Hiking is a great way to truly enjoy the outdoors while also getting some exercise in. There are plenty of hiking trails near Lake Geneva, some of which we listed in a previous blog. This Labor Day, put on your hiking shoes and try out one of these trails! 

Hiking Trails Near Lake Geneva

How to Become More Motivated

We all struggle to stay motivated at times, especially when the task at hand is boring or tiring. Though we wish we could skip our daily tasks and goals sometimes, we have to stay motivated and complete them. For those days when you want to do nothing, here are some tips on how to stay motivated. 

  1. Remove Distractions 

It’s incredibly easy to get distracted when you’re trying to complete a task. One of our biggest distractions is our phone since we almost always have it on us. Replying to one text message can disrupt our flow and halt our motivation. Putting your phone on silent or leaving it out of sight might be the first step to becoming more productive. 

  1. Start Your Task

This might seem like a no brainer, but starting can be the hardest part of the task when we aren’t motivated. Oftentimes, once we start working on our project or goal, everything is a lot easier than we thought it would be. This can be made harder when you don’t even know where to start. When this happens, try opening up your laptop or notebook and write down a plan or schedule for the task at hand. 

  1. Set Goals

Setting goals for yourself can be the perfect way to stay motivated. These goals can be set to complete everyday tasks or achieve life goals. Either way, having these goals gives you something to reach for. To boost your motivation to complete these goals, try giving yourself rewards for achieving your goal. 

  1. Visualize the Results 

Visualizing the results can be a huge motivator to finish or start a task. For example, if your goal is to work out everyday, visualize what the results will be in a few months. In an everyday workplace, think about how happy your boss will be with your work, or imagine the decrease in stress once you complete your task. 

  1. Think About Successes 

When you think about your failures too often, it can hinder your ability to stay motivated. Before starting a task, don’t think about your failures. Instead, think about all of the times that you succeeded when you started something you weren’t too sure about. Remember that your mindset can determine the outcome, staying positive can help you manifest positive results.

Thoughtful Birthday Gift Ideas

Thinking up meaningful birthday presents can be incredibly difficult. Oftentimes, we end up running out of ideas and settle for a gift that isn’t as meaningful as we had wished. For their next birthday, maybe consider getting them one of the following birthday gift ideas. 

  1. Happy Notes in a Jar 

This is a gift that won’t break the bank, but is sure to make the birthday person happy for a long time. You can write all the notes yourself, or you can get all of their friends to write out something nice. Either way, this gift is perfect because they can look back at these notes anytime they want. 

  1. Massage Gift Card

Gift cards can often seem like a cop out, but getting them a gift card for a massage is a different story. By giving them a gift card to get a massage, you’re giving them the opportunity to have a relaxing experience. Nothing can beat having your pain and stress relieved. 

  1. Custom Calendar 

With this gift, you give the birthday person something they can use all year long. You can customize the calendar anyway you want to put a smile on their face everyday they use it. 

Custom Calendar

  1. Personalized Puzzle 

For those who enjoy sitting down and finishing a puzzle, a personalized puzzle is the perfect gift for them. You can choose a photo that was from a fun event, or something that will make them laugh. This might not be a gift they will use everyday, but it’s a gift they know you put some heartfelt thought into. 

Personalized Puzzle

  1. Houseplant

A house plant is a gift that will bring life into their living space while also giving them something to take care of. If they don’t have any house plants yet, we recommend getting them a beginner plant that doesn’t require much upkeep like a succulent. 

Beginner Houseplants 

  1. Specialized Journal 

This is another gift that the birthday person can use everyday if they choose. Journaling can be super relaxing or can be a way to spark creativity. Any way they choose to use their journal, everytime they use it, they’ll remember who got it for them. 

Specialized Journal 

Reasons Why You Should Eat Outside

While the weather is still nice, you may want to find a way to enjoy the outdoors. An easy way to enjoy the weather is by taking your meal outside, and this comes with many benefits. Here is a list of reasons why you should enjoy your meals outside. 

  1. Relaxing Setting

It’s undeniable that being outdoors is beautiful and relaxing. By taking a meal outside, you’re able to fully enjoy the wonders of the outdoors. Whether you choose to take your meal to the park or just outside your house, making the move outside is well worth it. 

  1. Fresh Air

Stale air can be detrimental to not only your mental health, but also your physical health. Fresh air helps to improve your immune system, clean your lungs, and increase serotonin levels. Eating outside is a great way to take in the fresh air while also enjoying a meal. 

  1. Concentration Improves 

Many studies suggest that the outdoors are a great way to improve your focus. Though this cannot be fully realized if you’re distracted by work or technology. Taking your meal outside is a great way to escape from these distractions.

  1. More Vitamin D

According to the Harvard Medical School, being outside 10 to 15 minutes a few days out of the week is enough to meet your weekly vitamin D requirements. This is a very important requirement to meet since vitamin D helps keep your bones healthy. This requirement can be easily met through taking a few of your meals outside every week. 

  1. Immune System Benefits 

Being outside has proven to reduce stress, and reducing stress helps to increase your immunity to negative things that enter your body. Overall, multiple studies have shown that being outside and a healthy immune system have a natural correlation. 

  1. Improved Sleep 

With the relaxing environment, reduced stress, and fresh air you experience from eating your meal outside, it’s very likely that you will experience an improved quality of sleep. Not to mention that the time you spent outside may make you feel more accomplished about your day, leading to a more relaxed state before you go to bed. 

Sources: 

https://www.vitacost.com/blog/benefits-of-eating-outside/ https://thriveglobal.com/stories/5-advantages-of-getting-fresh-air/#:~:text=Fresh%20air%20reinforces%20your%20immune%20system%20It%20causes,to%20slaughter%20and%20decimate%20microbes%2C%20infections%20and%20germs.

Hiking Trails Near Lake Geneva

With only two months of summer left, you might be looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors before it starts getting cold again. Hiking is a perfect way to appreciate the warm weather, and luckily there are plenty of hiking trails around the Lake Geneva area. Here is a list of some hiking trails that you might want to visit before fall. 

  1. Lake Geneva Trail

This 20.7 mile loop trail circles Geneva Lake and is perfect for all skill levels. Every inch of this hiking trail provides stunning views of the lake while showcasing lakeside restaurants and shops that you can stop at on your hike.

Lake Geneva Trail 

  1. Nordic Trail 

Located in Whitewater, Wisconsin is the Nordic Trail, a loop trail that is 40 minutes from Lake Geneva. This trail is well maintained and allows you to choose from six different paths, all with varying lengths and difficulties. All six paths have one thing in common though, they all provide stunning views of Whitewater’s less traveled area. 

Nordic Trail

  1. Seno Woodland Trail 

This 1.7 mile loop trail is located in Burlington, Wisconsin; a 22 minute drive from Lake Geneva. The Seno Woodland Trail features stunning forestry with an uneven trail, making the hike moderately difficult. 

Seno Woodland Trail 

  1. Kishwauketo Trail 

For the perfect afternoon hike, head over to Williams Bay, Wisconsin for a 4.5 mile hike. Accessible year round, this trail features a lake and a lookout tower. On parts of the trail there are wooden pathways which make this hike even more scenic. 

Kishwauketo Trail

  1. Gander Mountain Loop Trail

Over in Antioch, Illinois is the Gander Mountain Loop Trail, a 1.4 mile experience that immerses you in nature. This trail is a 35 minute drive from Lake Geneva, but is worth the drive. We suggest wearing long pants and sleeves since parts of the trail feature tall grass! 

Gander Mountain Loop Trail