Productive Zone

Here are a few ways to get into your productive zone:

1. Find your rhythm:

For some, mornings are best. This is when they feel alert and focused. Others start to peak as evening approaches, with the night being their most productive time – when distractions are minimal. So, identify your particular rhythm to enhance your productivity.

2. Begin your workday with not only the most important but also complex tasks:

If there’s a task requiring high concentration and attention and is also important, schedule it for your most productive time. For me, early morning, after my meditation at about 5.30, are the most creative and productive. I have the whole office and a few rooms with all the right tools and ambiance, all to myself, or a quiet coffee shop to work from. I not only get the whole day’s work done in 2 to 3 hours but also find I’m able to be superbly creative.

3. Work in 90-minute cycles:

Research indicates that we work best in 90-minute cycles, separated by a 10-minute break. Beyond 90 minutes, our attention span begins to wane, and we become less effective.

4. Hydrate:

Our brain is comprised of 75 percent water. When we’re dehydrated, it can negatively affect our focus, attention, and energy. Lack of proper hydration can also impair short-term memory function, as well as long-term memory recall. Hence, try to drink 2 liters of water daily, ideally at warm or room temperature. Take small sips instead of large gulps and maintain good hydration levels consistently throughout the day.

5. Conserve your resources:

Research by Gloria Mark at the University of California/Irvine indicates, once interrupted, a worker takes, on average, 25 minutes to return to what they’d originally been doing. Hence, conserve your mental energy for productive activities. With the likes of social media, emails, smartphones, etc. we are living in a climate of hyper-distraction and consequently feel less engaged in our tasks. Make it a point daily to disconnect from the Internet and phones for a few hours and create uninterrupted time so to concentrate on the task at hand. You will see your productivity and results zoom upward.

6. Eat foods that boost brain power:

Our brain loves and thrives in particular foods. For example – walnuts, almonds, apples, spinach, blueberries, pomegranate, turmeric lattes, omega 3 fatty foods like flaxseed, salmon, etc. Do a quick search for a full list of expert recommendations, and ensure you eat a mix of these foods daily. Reduce your consumption of processed, fried foods as well as excess sugar. They are not only bad for your health; they are likely to make you sleepy or cranky and affect your productivity.

7. Get your needed sleep daily:

According to the Harvard Medical School, insomnia alone is estimated to cost the American economy a staggering $63.2 billion annually in lost productivity. Sleep is a vital requirement to rejuvenate every biological system in the body. When you are sleep deprived, you not only impair your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. Adequate sleep activates our neural pathways, fostering greater creativity, learning, and better memory. Generally, 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is essential to stay fresh and rested.

8. Exercise daily:

Physical exercise, including strength training, running, and aerobics boosts brain function on both a molecular and behavioral level. In fact, certain yoga postures and breathing exercises can help rejuvenate your brain by increasing oxygen flow and enhancing brain plasticity by promoting new neuron growth. Even just 20 minutes daily exercise is good enough to reap benefits.

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