Productivity Tips from Dr. Melissa Gratias
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When did isolation become so…comfortable?

By Melissa Gratias, Ph.D. 

It’s time to get out. My family is fully vaccinated. Beautiful downtown Savannah beckons. Tybee Island is ready and waiting for a twilight walk with my beloved. Networking organizations are back in full swing to help me reconnect with the business community…


And all I want to do is stay at home.


I am an off-the-scale extravert. I can hardly have a thought without speaking it aloud. It is a good thing that my dog stays in my office all day. Otherwise, I’d be the crazy lady constantly talking to myself. Dobby the House Dog is an excellent listener.


I am a hugger, an energizer, a leader. About ten years ago, I gave myself permission to love, really love, my clients. My work became 1000 times more fulfilling after that.


And all I want to do is stay at home.


Last week, I got out of the house TWO times and found myself in a crowd of lovely people. I went to a restaurant with my husband and son. I walked the dog. I drove my son to and from swim practice.


And I was always so relieved to get back home.


So, if it is (apparently) not time for me to get out, what is it time for me to do?



It’s time to…reevaluate.


I have been successfully running my productivity consulting business in one form or another since 2007. I love coaching and speaking, but there have been fewer opportunities to do either in the past year and a half.


It would be silly of me not to reevaluate my business and career options. I will keep my mind and heart open to allow something…new…to speak to me.



It’s time to…breathe.


My meditation practice has been a key means of managing my anxiety in the past few years. I tend to get a mid-day flare up, and my Calm app has been a godsend.


Despite the call toward reevaluation, I also need to remain present. I am so lucky that there is no hurry for me to make any major life changes.


Today, all I have to do is breathe.



It’s time to…savor.


In Dr. Laurie Santos’ (wonderful and free) training course, The Science of Well-Being, I learned the skill of savoring.


Too often, when something good is happening, we are busy thinking about what’s next to truly appreciate the goodness of the present. Savoring is an intentional practice of focusing our attention on the good thing happening now.


The things we choose to savor don’t have to be huge: your first sip of coffee in the morning, a wonderful bite of food, the way the water looks as it runs from the shower head, or anything else that gives you pause or pleasure.


When we savor an experience, we intensify our positive feelings. We appreciate it longer. We feel better overall.


Similar to a gratitude practice, a practice of savoring involves specific behaviors. You can:

  • Share the savored experience with someone else
  • Think about how lucky you are to be having this amazing moment
  • Remember the activity by journaling, taking a photo, and/or marking it on your calendar


I feel better now. I have a perfect cup of coffee in front of me, a snoring dog behind me, and a glistening lake outside my office window.


I’m so happy to be at home.



The post When did isolation become so…comfortable? appeared first on Melissa Gratias.

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