It's 7 P.M., Do You Know Where Tomorrow's Productivity Is?

You conquered your inbox by noon, worked in 90-minute sprints, and had salad for lunch. But now it's Happy Hour, when bright tomorrows die. Luckily life coach Gabrielle Bernstein is here to get us over those post-workday hurdles.

As you may know, we are big fans of waking up super early, working out, breaking the day into sprints, and standing or at least maintaining good posture at work.

That's all great, and many of us do manage to get up early, go for a run, eat a productivity-boosting breakfast, and then power through 10-hour workdays with straight spines.

That is, until 7 p.m. when your brain is fried, your eyes are tired...and boom, you're sitting in front of a massive margarita and a basket of bottomless chips and salsa. Your healthy, productive, hang-over-free existence just went out the local bar's window!

To avoid that post-productivity crash, we turned to spiritual guru and life coach Gabrielle Bernstein. She cofounded and ran a hip New York PR firm in her early twenties, overcame addiction, built herself a highly successful life-coaching career, and just released her fourth book.

Here are Bernstein's tips for handling that "eff-it-all" moment--and maintaining that productive winning streak you were on before the first bite of chips.

When in doubt, play it out.

"This saved me when I was getting sober," explains a Zenned-out Bernstein. "It has continually helped me with the commitment and discipline that I needed in order to create new patterns in my life."

Here's how it works: Before you order that third drink (while stuffing a fistful of chips into your face), play out the entire situation. Picture yourself going overboard. See yourself staying out too late, skipping your good pre-bed habits, and waking up with a throbbing headache. Watch your nauseous self commuting to and then dragging yourself through a seemingly endless workday during which you order a burger and fries for delivery and watch an excessive amount of Upworthy videos.

Use this little mental trick and chances are you'll put down the marg and reach for your water.

Practice radical moment-to-moment forgiveness.

After you break your resolution to not drink on weeknights, or to sit up straight, or whatever it is--don't let guilt pull you into a negative all-or-nothing conundrum that will leave you hurting the next day.

Instead, forgive yourself. "When you choose to forgive," says Bernstein, "you choose a peaceful state of mind over your old chaotic way of thinking.”

So stay positive, "drop that F-bomb," as Bernstein likes to say, and climb back on the happiness horse.

Be both disciplined and willing to be imperfect.

You don't need to be perfect. Perfection is unsustainable and you will slip up eventually. Discipline, on the other hand, is good for you.

"One of my biggest strengths is my ability to be okay with my imperfections," says Bernstein, "but show up for yourself in that moment." You owe it yourself to commit to your quest for health, happiness, and productivity.

You will feel proud as you head home for your nightly meditation practice and a good night's sleep.

Bernstein emphasizes forgiveness and kindness, so remember to be kind to yourself. If that means occasionally cutting loose or slouching once in a while, then slouch away.

[Image: Flickr user Torbakhopper]

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