As the economy continues to grow, we are all looking for ways to be productive at work. Whether by time management or staying fit, it’s important that we all do our best to improve our capabilities so that we can get more done. Here are three simple ways you can be more productive:
1. Be Mindful
Most people spend a lot of time worrying about the past or the future – so much so that it keeps them from being anchored in the present. But one of the best ways to take care of yourself (and more productive) is to focus your attention on the present moment through mindfulness (mindfulness).
“Spending a few minutes a day focusing on the present moment may seem like a little personal care – but it can have a huge impact” says yoga teacher Kirsty Davis from Yoga Training Guide. “People who practice yoga and meditate regularly derive various benefits such as improved memory, reduced stress and anxiety, better concentration, better ability to alternate from one activity to another, and increased creativity.”
In fact, mindfulness meditation is so powerful that it can even improve the structure of your brain. Meditation has been shown to increase the density of gray matter in the hippocampus (responsible for learning and memory) and decrease the density of the amygdala (which plays a key role in the body’s response to stress and anxiety).
And the best? You don’t have to meditate for years to start seeing the changes. Studies show that just two weeks of mindfulness meditation is enough to improve cognitive function .
2. Get Good Sleep
There is a huge correlation between productivity and sleep — to put it simply, if you don’t get enough sleep (or if your sleep isn’t restful), your productivity will also go downhill.
One study found that workers who reported suffering from insomnia or insufficient sleep spent three times as much time managing their time compared to workers with quality sleep. Employees deprived of sleep also reported difficulties with work motivation, concentration, memory and decision-making.
If you struggle with your sleep, you will lose your ability to concentrate and retain information. If you drink alcohol, some scientists have said that there may be a direct correlation between alcohol consumption and lack of sleep.
If you want to know how to be productive, work more efficiently (and feel better), there is only one solution: you have to take care of yourself by sleeping more and better .
According to the Coaching Institute, if you’re having trouble getting the high-quality sleep you need to be as productive as possible, try to develop a bedtime routine. A consistent evening routine can help make your brain and body understand that it’s time to relax and close your eyes.
A few hours before bed, start your routine to allow yourself to enter a state of relaxation (and conducive to sleep). Turn off your screens (phones, televisions, tablets and other screens emit blue light, which prevents the brain from producing the sleep hormone melatonin ). Take a bath. Put on your pajamas. Turn the lights down and go to bed with a good book, a real one, the one of which you can physically turn the pages.
It is up to you to choose which practices to incorporate into your evening routine, but you must perform them tirelessly every night. Your brain and body will eventually associate your evening routine with bedtime — and it will be easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Stop Obsessing Over Your Phone
You may think your phone is the secret to becoming super productive (after all, you’re walking around with a super computer in your pocket!) – But the truth is, one of the best things you can do for your productivity (not to mention your happiness!) is to put your phone down.
Smartphones are like wolves in sheep’s clothing: they make you feel more productive, but in reality, they hamper your efficiency.
Smartphones are a huge distraction: the average person receives almost 50 push notifications a day – and every time your phone announces a Facebook notification or message (and takes you away from the job at hand), it can take 23 long minutes for you to focus again .
Your phone can also destroy your memory (research shows that five minutes of using your cellphone is enough to have a negative impact on memory ) and wreak havoc on your sleep (because of that damn blue light) – knowing that in in both cases, productivity takes a hit.
Be careful, you are not told to throw your cell phone out the window. On the other hand, turning it off or away from time to time and not being online 24/7 is a good way to take care of yourself – and it’s a form of personal care that will greatly increase your productivity. A recent study found that having a phone in the room, even if it’s turned off, can decrease your efficiency: removing phones from the work area greatly increases worker performance.