November 2, 2017
Like it or not, a big part of us spends a good chunk of life on autopilot. If you don’t believe that is the case, try to remember the last time you were completely aware of what you are doing and what is going on around you. It’s not that easy, is it? Our brain lets us shut down all the background noise in order to focus and get things done, but that isn’t supposed to be our default mode. Unfortunately, being constantly exposed to computers, smartphones and TVs has shrunk our attention span to the size of a raisin, and most of the time, we just zone out of the situations around us. That is very bad news for our productivity and concentration, and if you caught yourself constantly distracted by little things and can’t seem to get things done, here are 5 brain-boosting ways to increase your productivity.
Curiosity is one of the best ways to contract your “brain muscles”, which is why it’s important to always wonder about life, about yourself and the task you’re currently preoccupied with. This doesn’t mean that you should go overboard and spend hours thinking about why we have two nostrils, but the wondering keeps your life interesting. Productivity is directly connected to your motivation to get something done and very few things can motivate you as well as curiosity. There is so much about this world you still don’t know about, so much about you that is yet to be explored, and you won’t be able to do that if you simply go on autopilot for the most of your day. Having an inquisitive mind will allow you to discover things you love doing and are good at, and that is one of the crucial aspects of a fulfilled life.
Chasing after the “perfect moment”, “perfect person” and “perfect self” will end up doing more bad than good and this is why you should give up the concept as soon as possible. More often than not, looking for perfection is an excuse not to do things at all, which puts your entire life on hold. Of course, your perfectionism is admirable, but only when it boosts your productivity, not when it hinders it. You will face all kinds of circumstances in life where you’ll have to react quickly without the time to think it through and those moments are often the ones that define us. It is wise to strive and be better with each passing day – that will definitely improve your productivity and your ability to succeed in even the most difficult of situations, but reign in your perfectionism. Without being obsessed with doing everything perfectly, you’ll allow your mind to expand and find innovative ways to solve problems, as well as come up with life-changing ideas.
You’ve probably experienced the dark part of your brain that comes out to play when you’re extremely tired or sleep deprived, and usually, it’s not a nice sight to behold. When constantly faced with the lack of sleep, we easily become cranky, we can’t focus and our overall problem-solving skills aren’t that great. Maybe you can be productive if you work a couple of days without sleeping enough, but if you’re regularly underslept, then you can kiss most of your abilities goodbye. Having healthy sleeping patterns and doing your best to uphold them is one of the best ways to make sure your brain and body function well all day, every day. The trick here is to find how your circadian rhythm works and what the times of the day when you’re most productive are. If you have sleeping problems that include the inability to stop snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia etc., be sure to talk to an expert to find a solution for your problems. Healthy sleep is vital to every aspect of your health so don’t take it lightly and do all in your power to get good shuteye every night.
Physical activity and moderately healthy diet are one of the determining factors of your brain function. Even if you’re not a worshipper of the super healthy lifestyle, you should still pay attention to how you’re treating the physical aspect of your existence. Constantly eating junk food will not only cause weight and health problems, but it will make your thoughts sluggish and drag your productivity down to a bare minimum. You should indulge every once in a while, but even when you do, make sure it’s with high-quality gourmet foods that will make all your senses tingle. Otherwise, surround yourself with healthy snacks that will give you fuel for thought and energize you for much longer than a standard sugar rush. When it comes to moving around, find a way to do it that doesn’t involve you whining about it, so anything from dancing to running with your dog is an awesome option. Physical activity allows you to de-stress, clear your mind, be more organized and oriented on problem-solving, that will come much more easily with a healthy body and an easy mind.
You don’t have to be a guru to reap the benefits of meditation, even though many people avoid it for the fear of not “succeeding” in it. The whole point of meditation is to let go of all the pressures you’re facing in the present moment and just breathe, it’s that simple. If you’re wondering how is meditation connected to increasing your productivity, just ask yourself – do you get more work done when you’re stressing and scrambling for time or when you approach any task with a calm and resolved mind? When in doubt whether or not you should meditate for a little while, always do it because if you’re not sure if you need to calm down, you probably do. In truth, there’s no complication to it – close your eyes, wherever you are, and listen to the sound of your breath. Your thoughts will wander, and that is normal so every time that happens, just bring your attention back to the breathing. Stay like that for 5-15 minutes and notice the difference – chances are it will be substantial.
We all have good and bad days. The best we can do is to understand ourselves and what our triggers are when it comes to the lack of productivity and creativity and then eliminate them one by one. These are five of the most useful brain-boosting ways to work on your productivity and of course, you’re more than welcome to mix and match until you find your recipe for success. – Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.