Everyone wants to get more out of every day. It really can feel like we need a clone of ourselves to get it all done! We suffer from poor concentration and focus, memory problems and low energy. The good news is: it doesn't have to stay that way. You can be more productive every day, just by including these handy tips - no clone necessary.
Tip #1 – Eat Your Way To Brainpower
Did you know that food affects how your brain works? After all, food is what supplies the building blocks for your brain chemicals.
A vital step to staying productive is toeat brain-power foods, and avoid brain-drainers.
So remember to eat and drink plenty of:
- Oily fish
- Green leafy vegetables
- Good fats like avocado and olive oil.
- Green tea
- Nuts and seeds
- Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
But try to limit your consumption of:
- Refined snack foods
- High sugar foods
- Processed carbohydrates
- Coffee (1-2 per day)
The aim of the game with using food for brainpower is to keep your blood sugar steady and your inflammation levels low. When we have blood sugar fluctuations, our energy can be erratic, and our brains may not get enough fuel to work.
When we have inflammation, it can inflame the brain and make it impossible to think straight.
Many of the listed brain-foods also have bonus effects. Dark chocolate can boost blood flow to the brain. Berries protect the part of the brain associated with memory and intelligence. Green tea has compounds that reduce stress hormones and boost focus.
Tip #2 – Keep Moving Throughout The Day
When we work, it can be easy to sit in the same spot for hours at a time. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you can do for your brain. Our brains are used to us moving and being constantly active. So when we stop moving, it thinks it's sleep time, not work time! It also starves your brain of much needed blood flow and oxygen.
That's why it's important to be as active as possible throughout the day. Moving, stretching and any kind of exercise boosts blood flow and circulation throughout the body. That blood reaches the brain, and refreshes it with oxygen.
You don't have to be doing a full workout at your desk. But do think about how you can be more active. Simple ways include:
- Doing some stretches at your desk every hour
- Walking across the office to talk to a colleague instead of emailing
- Taking the stairs if you're only going 1-2 floors up or down
- Going for a walk around the block on your break
Small amounts of movement add up!
Tip #3 – Get Some Oxygen
Most workplaces are not equipped for maximum oxygen. In fact, they can be very stuffy and closed-in. But we want plenty of oxygen for you to get to your brain. The more oxygen to the brain, the better it can operate. Without sufficient oxygen, we become fatigued and foggy.
Aside from exercise and movement, you might consider:
- Taking lunch breaks outside in the fresh air
- Keeping a plant at your desk
- Opening a window in the office when you get fatigued
Tip #4 – Remember Your Night Habits Count Too
You can have a perfect productivity routine for during the day. But if you're not sleeping well, you will not be at your best. When we don't sleep, our brain doesn't get to process and reset for the day ahead.
Night time is a time to unwind and rest deeply. However, most people treat it as a time to scroll through Facebook or watch Netflix for hours on end! The end result is far too little high quality sleep. And that means more day-time fatigue, and very low productivity.
If you're struggling to get a good sleep, or wake up fatigued, look to your sleep hygiene. We haveplenty of tips for getting good sleep at BeHerbal.
Tip #5 – Try Intervals For Your Brain
Your body can't run a marathon every day. So why would your brain be able to do the same? Doing intervals of work and mini breaks work far better for your productivity.
Try downloading an app for your computer that has a Pomodoro timer. These timers allow you to work for a set amount of time, usually about 25 minutes. Then they will chime and you can enjoy a 5 minute break, before starting again. This is much easier to do than doing 3 hour stints of work at one time!
Tip #6 – Take Breaks, Even When You're Busy
Short breaks are a good idea. But you still need to take full lunch breaks as well. It's important so that you can enjoy a meal full of your brain foods from above! But it's also important to give your brain a proper break, and think about something other than work.
The good thing is, regular breaks can actually help creativity and finding new solutions to old problems. So if you feel like you're not getting anywhere, take an early break, go for a walk, and unwind!
Tip #7 – Keep Your Weekends Sacred
The productive brain needs more than just a 30 minute lunch break each day. We need to be able to disconnect and enjoy leisure time to be healthy and happy. But despite this, many people will check their emails and work on projects over the weekend.
This might seem like something that needs to be done. But in the long term, it actually makes you less productive. You need time to be mindful and enjoy life.
Some of these tips might seem to be counter-intuitive. But remember, the quantity of work you do isn't the important factor when it comes to productivity. It's the quality. These will help you to achieve a much higher rate of productivity by preparing your body and your mind.