Ever spent a day that felt completely unproductive? You try to think of one meaningful task you accomplished and keep coming up blank? You get an awful feeling in the pit of your stomach leaving you frustrated, wondering how you’ve wasted a whole day. Maybe the productivity tricks you’re using aren’t working. Or maybe you’re just struggling with real productivity overall.
Failing to start and complete meaningful tasks often means you struggle to meet deadlines, accomplish goals, or generally make any progress. There are numerous tips and tricks on the internet to help you improve your productivity, here we provide, holistic, meaningful ways to increase your productivity levels.
1. Exercise in the morning and eat healthy food
You’ve probably heard this a million times and it sounds like a cliché, but that’s because it’s true. Vigorous physical activity has a stunning and lasting impact on our mood, energy levels, and brain. Working out regularly will increase your energy levels. This sounds contradictory but is pretty accurate for people without some chronic illnesses. Vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes, three times a week will also make you feel good. Working out releases endorphins that greatly improve your mood. Working out to music you enjoy is even better.
The kind of fuel you put into your body affects your productivity levels as well. This is because not all food is created equal, and the kind of energy it provides isn’t equal either. Most importantly not all food has great nutritional value, in fact some food has almost none. Feeding your body with whole grains, fresh raw fruit & vegetables, protein, and mostly unprocessed food will have a significant impact on your health, which in turn affects your productivity. Some kinds of food will even improve the health of your brain and memory.
2. Get enough sleep (7-8hrs)
Our bodies need to rest and recuperate, and they do this whilst we sleep. Denying your body adequate rest will affect your health in the long run, and will leave you feeling constantly sluggish and tired in the short-term. Your brain also does not function at its optimal levels when it’s sleep deprived. Allowing your body to rest for up to 8hours as an adult (bearing in mind the numbers differ according to age) will boost your productivity levels.
3. Schedule your day into time blocks
Block out times for different activities. This permits you to focus on one task at a time. It also allows you to create a routine which is key to forming habits. When your time is blocked out for particular activities, with time you’ll learn how fast you are at different tasks, and how to improve your time if there is any need to do so.
4. Take meaningful breaks
Working without a break is often counter-productive. Your mind and body could tire from the work you’re doing, especially if it’s repetitive, requires high levels of thinking or manual labour. When you take a break, you have a chance to refresh and relax for a few minutes. It allows you to come back to work with fresh energy, or possibly fresh ideas.
If your tasks/work involve sitting for hours, then stand up, walk around, or ideally take a walk. Allow your muscles to stretch. If your work involves constant movement on your feet or continuously standing, then sitting down will refresh you for a while. This is why tea breaks and lunch breaks are important, aside from the aspect of fuelling your body.
5. Know your most productive hours
With time, as you become better at accomplishing tasks, you’ll be able to notice which times you’re most productive. When you know which hours you’re most productive, then you can utilize those hours to do the heaviest and most draining tasks. These are often also the most important. Take advantage of the time you are most productive to do the work that matters the most.
Productivity is highly sought after by almost everyone, and for good reason. Some people seem to have mastered it down to the final dot, but others still struggle. If you’re one of those people struggling, or you simply want to increase your productivity then perhaps taking these holistic changes will have a big impact on your production levels.