Lacking productivity lately? Feeling like 24 hours are not enough to do everything you have planned? Maybe the problem lies in your time management! Don’t stress out, nobody was born with perfect time management skills, so listen carefully and learn to boost your productivity and achieve more, both in your personal and professional life. Just remember – the key is to work smarter, not harder!
Start with the working habits
- ► Take regular breaks – it is impossible to work non-stop at your optimum productivity. Although you might think it is counterproductive, taking short breaks from working or studying actually improves concentration, creativity, and memory. Continuously working for long periods of time leads to exhaustion, stress, and fatigue, so stop for a while to refuel your mind.
- ► Listen to music that boosts productivity – yes, distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a little bit of music in the background can help you focus. According to 400+ pieces of research, people who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and had better ideas than those who didn’t overall.
- ► Eliminate all distractions – following the last tip, it is very important to distract yourself from things which could possibly ask for your attention, including mobile phone, TV, laptop and other things which you could take up. However, schedule for yourself a distraction time (which is equally important as your focusing time – remember what we’ve said about breaks).
- ► ‘Eat the frog’ – don’t go chasing a real frog, that’s not what we’ve meant. Our beloved Mark Twain once said eating a frog first thing in the morning means that nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day. So, start with the most demanding task on your list, the one you’re most likely to procrastinate first and discipline yourself until the task is complete.
- ► Plan each day in advance – Make a to-do list one day in advance, they get your organized and give you a feeling of satisfaction once you check off tasks you’ve finished. However, don’t exaggerate with the number of your tasks, cut down the list to the most important ones and set your focus on those tasks which you can realistically and effectively accomplish.
- ► Learn to single-task – The human brain is not programmed to multitask. According to the American Psychological Association, multitasking reduces productivity by not less than 40%! This is proven due to the fact that struggling between multiple tasks limits your focus, increases stress and fatigue and interferes with your working memory. Therefore, in order to prevent burnout, avoid over-committing and set your priorities straight on time.
- ► Make your surroundings pleasant – It may sound unlikely, but a clean and well-organized desk helps to focus on work. It helps even more if it’s aesthetically pleasing, with cheerful decorations such as plants, picture frames or whatever you find soothing. Believe it or not – it can increase your productivity by up to 15%. Pictures, candles, flowers… whatever it takes to put a smile on your face.
- ► Share your work – Yes, feedback from your friends or colleagues can help too. Many people think it is “bad luck” or would take them out of their flow. But, keep in mind that feedback is extremely important, and you can save yourself a lot of time by a simple conversation where someone points out what is good and what isn’t working regarding what you’ve accomplished. It might not be easy to hear at that moment, but you will definitely appreciate it later.
→ But it’s not all about these tips! There are foods that can help you optimize your productivity level.
Diet optimization for productivity
|Bananas – one banana has the amount of glucose your brain needs for the entire day, which is why starting your day with a banana will keep your mind sharp and well-functioning||Blueberries – these berries fight off disease, stop belly bloat, and curb your cravings, and are also linked to enhancing cognitive ability||Strawberries – the ruby red berries are filled with fisetin, a flavonoid that promotes signaling pathways in your brain to improve memory function||Avocado – because they’re rich in vitamin K and folate, avocados help with cognitive function, specifically memory, and concentration, and they reduce the risk of strokes||Tomato – increase your mental focus and productivity due to lycopene, known to destroy toxic, disease-promoting cells|
|Eggplant – the nutrient nasunin lies in the purple layer (eggplant’s skin) and is known to strengthen the communication between brain cells||Carrots – raw carrots have a low glycemic index, meaning that the glucose they contain is activated slowly and helps fuel your brain at a steady pace all day, allowing you to focus on most important tasks throughout the day||Green veggies – a low-calorie source of B vitamins, which are essential for energy production|
NUTS AND SEEDS:
|Almonds – the healthy fats and fiber will not only keep you full until the next meal but plenty of copper, a mineral essential for healthy brain function, will help prevent your mental fatigue||Sunflower seeds – help fight feelings of sleepiness and irritability because they’re loaded with the amino acid tryptophan, which quickly turns into serotonin in the brain||Walnuts – contains serotonin which helps both our mood and our appetite to stay balanced throughout the entire day||Pumpkin seeds – the high magnesium level promotes calmness, they are also loaded with both protein and healthy fat, they’ll offer longer-lasting energy to keep you from feeling hungry again soon||Flax seeds – increase your daily intake of alpha-linolenic acid, a healthy fat which strengthens the function in your cerebral cortex, the area of your brain which processes sensory information|
|Mushroom coffee – regular coffee blended with medicinal mushroom extracts which have numerous effects, such as energy level increase, brain function boost and stronger immune system||Green tea – tea contains a small level of caffeine which can boost your energy so you can stay alert and ready to take on your day – it is proven that a half hour after drinking green tea, brain activity starts to increase, so the stimulated areas of the brain all contribute to improved cognitive function, alertness, memory, and logical reasoning||Water – a glass of water is a perfect way to start your day, and keep in mind to drink at least 8 of those in 24 hours, it is advised to have always one full glass on your desk, take small sips regularly and don’t wait until you get thirsty|
FOOD TO AVOID
And last, but not least… Avoid these while working or trying to be productive in any kind of way:
|French fries – apart from starch, a huge dose of fat taxes your digestive system, and the body turns energy to breaking down your food instead of fueling your creativity||Cookies – full of heavily refined vegetable oils that can make your to-do list more demanding and may cause poor cognitive function and inflammation throughout the body||Pretzels – made with refined white flour, they’re pure starch, which, being low in fiber, raises your blood sugar levels fast, leading to a blood sugar crash that causes fatigue||Sugary drinks – a sudden sugar rush is likely to be followed by a drop in blood sugar, especially if you don’t consume any food at the same, which can leave you feeling tired, fuzzy and light-headed||Frozen dinners – high levels of sodium (salt), may sabotage your productivity, affect your cognitive function and impair your ability to think|
As you can see, there are many factors affecting your productivity level. But you can also notice how smallest details can have a huge impact on your body and brain so – why wait any longer? Reach your personal maximum in no time!