If you’re anything like me, you’re accustomed to getting four to five hours of sleep every night. The next day you still power through it like a champ, because this is the exhausting price you have to pay for success right?
While working after hours and over the weekend is admirable, it isn’t conducive to a healthy, happy lifestyle and can actually be counterproductive. My grandmother (maw maw) used to say, “If you take care of your business, your business will take care of you.” Wise words, but while mawmaw was spot on, she left out the part about how to get your work done efficiently and still have time for life outside the office. So I did some research, and discovered 7 simple ways to improve your productivity and free up more time to do the things you love most.
“I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” — Neil Armstrong
7 Simple Ways To Boost Productivity:
1. Declutter Your Thoughts
Lists can be a great tool to help you unclutter the thoughts in your head, but having your schedule organized is much different than managing your schedule. Just making a to-do list without prioritizing your tasks creates more pressure. As deadlines approach, your body releases stress hormones causing you to feel anxiety and not perform at your best.
2. Buy into Preparation
Preparation is another key ingredient in the productivity pot. If you’re unprepared, you’re just creating unnecessary anxiety and stress. If you stay ready, you’re not wasting time getting ready. Imagine if the chef at your favorite restaurant didn’t prepare. You’d be pretty disappointed in the way your food came out. If you have a hard time prioritizing your schedule and sticking to the script, there are Smartphone apps on the market today that will help you do just that. But, if you really want to be more productive, you’ll manage your schedule by prioritizing accordingly and preparing ahead of time.
Regular aerobic exercise may be the single most important thing you can do for the long-term health of your brain. Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of euphoria. Studies have shown that a regular exercise routine can improve overall mood and even reduce symptoms for those who are depressed. For mental fitness, aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every other day.
4. Rest Up!
Regular exercise also leads to sound sleep and better rest. But getting rest doesn’t have to mean getting 8 hours of sleep every night. Taking an afternoon nap is like rebooting your system. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of twenty to thirty minutes in the afternoon for improved alertness and performance, without interfering with nighttime sleep. Research shows that people who take naps possess greater emotional resilience and improved cognitive function. So enjoy that 20 minute power nap in the car; it’s keeping you on point!
5. Give Your Body the Good Stuff
Fact: Your diet affects how much energy you have, which influences your productivity. You know the old saying, “What you put into your body, is what you get out.” Well it’s true. When you eat food, your body converts that food into glucose, which is your brain’s main energy source. Fatty foods that contain lots of sugar and salt turn into glucose, which hits your brain all at once causing your energy levels to rollercoaster.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” — Bruce Lee
6. Give Your Brain an Edge
Want to be at your sharpest? Find a good Nootropic Stack. Nootropics are substances that improve cognitive function, particularly learning rates, energy levels, and attention. Over time, you’ll notice improvements in your mental performance. You’ll become more focused, you’ll retain new information better, and you’ll stop procrastinating. Nootropics can also relieve you of your coffee dependence. So say goodbye to that French Press with the extra shot of espresso to snap you into focus. With nootropics, you’ll enjoy cleaner energy and greater motivation to become a better, more productive you.
7. Step Away from the Keyboard
Let’s be honest. Is there anything in your daily life that you do better when you’re unhappy? (Besides the Krav Maga class you’re taking on Thursday nights). We don’t realize how much what we do outside of the office or the classroom affects our weekday productivity. But your success at work, in large part, is based on how you spend your time after work or class. Do something social, educational, and exhilarating. Go on a scenic hike, a hot air balloon ride, or take in some live tunes. It will help you re-energize and refocus for your work day. So when you kill it on your midterms or land that big account at work, you can attribute your success to that Kanye concert you went to last weekend.
We all lack focus from time to time. If you incorporate these practices into your daily routine, you'll be the output master of the office in no time.