Have you recently had one of “those days?” I am actually having one today. I am a little lethargic. Not that excited about what I am doing. Its stinks and trust me, I really need to increase my productivity and I know it.
Luckily, years ago I found my type A mind wandering on certain days and sharp on others. Because I am OBSESSED with personal achievement and understanding why some days are good and some days are not, I dug deep. I researched what successful people do on a daily basis. I found out how some people have long periods of intense productivity and of course, I wanted to model myself after them.
Much of what I am about to share is super obvious BUT its incredible what a little reminder can do for you every once in awhile. I am one who needs a reminder today so let me reiterate what I ALREADY KNOW and maybe it will help you.
Rule #1- Get enough sleep in a pitch black room. We are a very sleep deprived society and sleep deprivation causes decreased productivity. We know this but yet we still don’t sleep enough. Get some blackout curtains and read a good fiction (take your mind of the day) book to put you to sleep. Try to be consistent on your sleep time. Also if your mornings are usually not crazy, try not setting an alarm. OH MY GOD THE HORROR! Yes that’s right, no alarm. Let your body wake up naturally. You’ll feel amazing if your alarm doesn’t wake you up in the middle of your sleep cycle. (check out sleep cycles to learn more).
Rule #2- Upon waking drink 16 to 32 oz of water and eat a good breakfast. Do this within 30 minutes to get your metabolism moving. The water gets you hydrated because you naturally dehydrate when you sleep. As for food, I am not going to tell you what to eat because its different for all people depending on what you can handle but I would suggest no sugar so that you don’t have spikes in energy. We want consistent productivity.
I start my day with 3 scrambled eggs and an avocado. Try to avoid caffeine if you can (most can’t). Caffeine will kill consistent energy and productivity. You will have lots of inconsistency. I’ll have a caffeinated drink maybe once a month.
Rule #3- Eat a light lunch, preferably lots of veggies with little fat. Try a salad with chicken. We have all had that 2pm feeling after we ate a huge fatty lunch. Ben Franklin always ate very light at lunch because he noticed that everyone around him used to take naps after lunch and Ben wanted to get ahead on his work. He figured out that light lunch equaled more energy. Snack on food every few hours but stay away from the sugar. Stay away from soda all together if you can.
Rule #4- Exercise, exercise, exercise. Need I say more. Most of the best minds in the world save some time in their day for exercise. Get that oxygen to the brain and breath!
Rule #5- Take some time in the morning or at night to spend 10-15 minutes in complete silence. Yes, I mean meditation. This one activity alone will absolutely make you clearer and more productive within a consistent week of practice. Meditation is a powerful tool to combat stress and anxiety and also helps you to be more focused and alert. Look into Transcendental Meditation or commonly called TM.
Another thing that has helped me to have increased productivity is simply to take a walk in the morning and bounce a tennis ball while you are walking. Its increases motor skills and gets you brain awake and alert in the morning.
Follow the above rules and you will see an increase in your daily productivity. Good luck!