Community//

3 NOT SO OBVIOUS WAYS TO BOOST PRODUCTIVITY

A look at some less conventional, evidence-based strategies that can help you get more done by enhancing your brain power. You’ve probably read lots of ways to increase productivity through better time management, reduced distractions, and improved calendar management. The three strategies discussed here may be even more important for boosting your productivity! GET MORE […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

A look at some less conventional, evidence-based strategies that can help you get more done by enhancing your brain power.

You’ve probably read lots of ways to increase productivity through better time management, reduced distractions, and improved calendar management. The three strategies discussed here may be even more important for boosting your productivity!

GET MORE SLEEP

Image by Cimberley from Pixabay

There is mounting evidence that sleep is incredibly important to our daily recovery. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, Americans, on average, get 90-minutes less sleep than the recommended eight hours a night.

In a 2018 podcast, Dr. Matthew Walker provides some alarming facts.

  • The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life.
  • Lack of sleep is associated with: Alzheimer’s, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression, and suicide.
  • The impact on your mental acuity of getting four hours too little sleep is the same as drinking a six-pack of beer.

Think about it this way…

How would you feel if your heart surgeon was short on sleep?

Or the pilot of your airplane?

Employees suffering from sleep deprivation:

  • take on less challenging assignments,
  • are more likely to engage in unethical behavior like lying or cheating, and
  • are less productive,

The good news? Here are a list of some of the benefits of getting enough sleep:

  • Sleep reboots your entire body; including your brain.

  • Sleep regulates appetite, weight, and food consumption.
  • Sleep improves memory and enhances problem-solving.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying up late to get more work done. In reality, if you get the sleep you need, you may find that the work goes faster and is of better quality – you will be more productive when you are well-rested.

PRACTICE MEDITATION

My post entitled, Mindfulness – The New  “Gateway” Habit, discussed how meditation is a great tool for increasing awareness, attention, and focus.

Image by Elias Sch. from Pixabay

In the fall of 2013, I read Kelly McGonigal’s, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, and it changed how I thought about meditation. The author’s description of meditation as a strategy for improving focus was compelling enough for me to start a daily meditation practice that I have stuck with ever since. 

In our distracted, digital world, who wouldn’t benefit from improved focus? 

In today’s world of constant distraction, greater focus translates to greater productivity.

MOVE MORE

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

John Ratey, MD and Richard Manning’s book, Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization, points out that our bodies were designed to be in motion. Back when we were primarily hunters and gatherers, humans maintained a level of fitness that enabled them to outrun dangers and threats in order to survive. Our DNA has not changed, but our activity level has. Today, we spend much of our day sitting.

Research indicates that even those who exercise regularly are at greater mortality risk if they are sedentary, especially sitting, for long periods of time. Exercise can improve overall brain health by stimulating plasticity (the ability for the brain to change) and enhancing cognitive function.

Exercising alone is not enough. It’s important to reduce the amount of time sitting – adding additional movement into your day will improve cognitive function, enabling you to be more productive.

Here are other ways to incorporate movement into your day:

  • Use the Pomodoro Method (25 minutes of work followed by a 5-minute break) to increase awareness of time and build in regular movement breaks,
  • Easy active breaks like walking around the block or up and down stairs, refilling your water glass, or stretching,
  • Standing when possible and considering the purchase of a standing desk.

Resist the temptation to sit all day at your computer. It’s no surprise that an organization now exists to promote standing and that a search for “sitting is the new smoking” on Google results in 164 million hits.

Regular movement (in addition to exercise) is important for brain function and productivity.

BOTTOM LINE

There are many ways to boost productivity; the three topics discussed here are powerful and accessible to everyone. Give sleep, meditation, and more movement a try and see what it does for you!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

lady talking on phone and laughing
Community//

6 Healthy Ways to Boost Productivity Going Into a New Year

by Maria Tanski-Phillips
Community//

Sleep is the Best Kept Secret

by Beth Payne
Holger Ströder/Getty Images
Well-Being//

Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You and Your Career

by Travis Bradberry

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.