Primarily speaking, there are 2 type of works people do. One is the job. While doing a job, most often, there’s a pressure of getting things done. There’s always someone who’s either watching you or asking you for your progress and you’re automatically accountable. Another kind of work is a business. There are many types and forms of business but for the sake of current discussion, lets talk about the work that you do alone or with a very small team of yours. In this case, if you’re the boss, then there’s no one (except your customers) asking you about progress. If you’re not accountable to anyone, it becomes harder to keep yourself productive and motivated all day. And am sure, if you run some sort of business, you do have the feeling that you’re not doing things to the lever you’re capable of doing and the level which you should be working on.
Regardless of you’re working in a job or business, we all face the time during the day when we get bored. or we simply don’t do the things we’re supposed to do. The upper hand here for people with job is they have to drag themselves to complete the task at hand. Whereas its very easy to procrastinate for a business owner. And we’re going to talk about some simple steps that can be taken each day to stay productive all day long.
What kills our productivity?
There are way too many factors involved which kills productivity or energy level. Look, am not a doctor or a nutritionist. Then what gives me authority to talk on this subject? My credentials are that for most part of my career, I am running business and hence I know how it gets if you don’t work to the level you’re supposed to be.
There are too many factors which I have observed, which if they’re taken care of, the productivity can skyrocket. See these tips below and tell me if you can resonate with it.
How To Boost Productivity?
These are my tips and questions you should ask yourself to keep your productivity on high level throughout the day. This is all based on my personal experiences and you may or may not agree with me, but hey, what’s harm in trying out?
1. How is Your Work Space?
Perhaps the first and most important thing is about your work space. Your workspace is the most important thing that decides your productivity. A non-healthy work place will create a non healthy work style and ethics. The corporate’s are not crazy to create fancy lobby’s and recreational spaces and properly lit desks and clean offices. If you’re working alone or in a small team, your working place has to meet below criteria’s to keep your work smooth all day long.
Am not saying to change your office into something fancy; but cleaning the entire space daily is a must. Even small dust or small garbage of papers lying around creates an un-noticeable subconscious disturbance. And without knowing it affects your work. Also make sure to clean your desk before ending your work each day, so that you start your next day afresh and full of energy.
Workspace must be very well lit. Now this is a subjective term, but being a technical person I’ll give you a hint to check. Download any lux meter app. Lux is the unit of measuring the light illumination. Your phone already has this sensor and you can easily check your illumination in your home. Download the lux meter app and check its value in various places throughout your room and office. It should always be minimum 400 or greater. The higher it is, the better it’ll be. A well lit area soothes your eye and reduces eye strain while using computer for a very long time.
Off course, the next thing after light is temperature. While in places like India, we don’t have much control over temperature unless you have an Air Conditioner in your office. Having Air conditioner is not very common yet in India and not every one can afford it. Still try to have many fans and keep the temperature at an optimum level of between 25 degree C to 33 degree C. Less than that, it’ll create cold and make your atmosphere cozy, which will make you tend to sleep. More than that will make it hot and uncomfortable to sit and work.
Its much helpful if you have some open space around your office. If you’re working from home, then the lobby in your building or the road in front of your office is very good place, not to work, but to roam around time to time. Whenever you receive a call, try to get out of your place and roam around in this area. It’ll create some movement and also relax your body and eyes.
Quick Boost Equipment
What is it? nothing fancy, its just something which you can use quickly and get some blood circulation. This is something you use after every 2-3 hours to raise your blood circulation. Consider a small kind of exercise equipment. A simple inexpensive punching bag is very effective to have in your workplace. If you hit your punching bag just 3-4 minutes every couple hours, it’ll keep the release of endorphins going on throughout the day. Release of endorphins makes us feel good and energized. There are other alternatives like having a skipping rope or hula hoop or pullup bar. If nothing, then just doing 1 minute jumping jack will give you enough exercise to keep you fresh every couple of hours.
2. How you started your day?
We should have actually started with this one, but never mind. How the day started has a huge impact on how our day goes. It doesn’t matter how good your workplace is, if you cannot start your day well then its difficult to keep energy level high during the day. Ideally I recommend these 3 morning habits as mentioned below
- 10 minutes sitting in Silence
- 10 minutes of reading
- 10 minutes of exercise
I know 10 minute of exercise is not much; but I belong to India and I know few exercise things like Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) done EVERYDAY for even just 10 minutes are great energy booster for your body. It takes very little time and no equipment except a mat.
Then the simplest meditation is a 10-minute silence. Just sit silent. There are 100 or more different meditation techniques which needs laborious work to learn. However meditation is not something you have to do. If you have to do it, then its exercise. Meditation just happens to you when you simply sit there. On your day 1 whenever you set your 10 minute timer and sit, your mind will be clouded by thoughts. The thing is, we don’t have to do anything here. Do not try to suppress those thoughts. Do not try to NOT THINK about them. Just don’t indulge in anything. Simply notice. On day 1 you won’t feel any change. But on day 15, you’ll feel a complete different level of serenity. And all am asking is 10 minutes a day in morning. Is it that difficult to do?
After Meditation, try to read your favorite book just for 10 minutes. Try not to read novel or fantasy stories this hour. Try to read something nice, simple and motivational. Not even too complex like think and grow rich. No, not that. Just something very simple. If you’re spiritual then something in that sense. For reading daily, I have some recommendations here. The text in these books will never become old and it is highly recommended to read it daily.
- The Greatest Salesman in the World — Og Mandino
- 7 spiritual laws of success — Dipak Chopra, also written here very nicely
- The 10x Rule — Grant Cardone
- Inner Engineering — Sadhguru
If you gift these 30 minutes of your life daily, it’ll create a drastic change in the quality of your life. And you don’t have to take my word for it. You already know that these things are good, They won’t cost you any high money. So just get started doing it and see the results.
3. What you ate?
Next thing to discuss is what you ate before starting your work. Its important to eat before starting your day and its equally important to eat right food before starting a day. I know of a standard routine that is followed throughout the world. We have a breakfast in morning, then lunch and then dinner. Many people also have a habit to eat something between lunch and dinner since the gap is to high.
Again am not a diet expert and hence I won’t pretend to be. But I’ve done several experiments with myself and those I’ll share with you.
Try to take a breakfast which should be high in energy and light on stomach. And without fail, there has to be a water based food in your breakfast. Water based foods keep your energy level high. These includes fruits / sprouts / veggies. Am not saying you eat veggies every day morning. But whatever you eat, a portion of it must be fruit or something which contains lots of water. A very simple suggestion that I have is start your breakfast with a banana and then eat whatever it is that you eat. Banana is available almost everywhere in world, its affordable and tastes good. The breakfast should be fulfilling and light on stomach. What I mean by this is, eat to your satisfaction but try to avoid too much fried stuff or too much meat in morning. Remember, something which is water based is key to your morning energy. Don’t take my word at all, just experiment and you’ll feel the difference.
Lunch is different for different people across the world. For some it may be a full Indian Thali, for some it may be a burger or a sandwich. The only tip here is whatever you eat, just try to eat slowly. Give maximum time to lunch. Don’t just rush to finish your lunch to catch some free time from break. The lunch hour is hour long for a reason and that is you should eat slowly. When you eat slowly, you just can’t overeat at all. This will help you get full without eating much of whatever you’re having.
Although, most dieticians say that you should take very light dinner, I’d contradict here a little. Dinner is the kind of meal which we take when we’re done with work, mostly happy with family and hence we tend to have most food at night time. We also tend to have parties or outing with friends at night time. You all know what must be eaten and how much, so you can decide it for yourself. My only suggestion is, if you want to eat whatever you want, just make your dinner as early as possible. The earlier you eat, the better your body will handle the food and the better you’ll sleep. When you eat late in night, during sleep, body is utilizing lots of energy for digestion and hence you won’t awake fresh the next morning. Once again, just give it a try 😉
4. How much distractions you handle?
During the day, there are too many distractions for our work. Its imperative to keep a log of our distractions throughout the day to monitor how we work. Deep Work is something very uncommon these days and if you want to work deep, you’ll have to keep the distractions at bay. The easy way to do is, just count your distractions for one day. Just one day. Just try to keep a notebook and write on it whenever you checked social media / messages and responded to them. Also mention how many coffee/tea breaks you took. When you create a log, you create a rule for yourself about how you lie to handle these things. Its up to you how to reduce these, but at least if you have a log, then you know the reason why you’re not up to the mark today. I hope you got my point. Ideally when am writing, I just keep my phone on airplane mode. Not everyone has this luxury and we have calls to attend to. But whenever possible, try to keep the phone at least in silent mode.
5. How you feed your mind and body throughout the day?
The most important point is this. No matter how good you started the day, no matter how good you ate and kept yourself distraction free. If you don’t feed your mind and body with good stuff during the day, you’ll not feel productive. In order to keep the mind healthy, I have few tips, you don’t have to try them all just look at them and see how many you can try.
How To Keep The Mind Healthy Throughout Day
Throw away newspaper and never read it. You don’t need to read about the murder and rapes happening in world. Frankly, you don’t also need to know what’s happening in the politics unless its your field of work. This just deteriorate the state of mind which is hazardous for us
Do not google search for everything, someone told you about that classic Robert De Niro movie he watched and you open search engine and check it and then go to imdb and see the ratings and reviews and then see where you can watch them. And then see what other good movies are there and HEY HEY HEY, wait. Nothing of it is going to be good for your work. You have evenings to do them. Don’t fill your mind with unnecessary knowledge just because you have access to.
Avoid Family Phone calls, I know it sounds rude, but its better that you don’t know what’s going at home unless its urgent. You don’t need to discuss the wedding plans of your cousin and you absolutely don’t need to discuss about your next holiday with wife when you check flights during work. Unless its urgent, don’t talk to family during the day. You may not agree with me, but as said, you don’t need to believe me. You just need to give these things a try
After taking care of mind, just follow simple things for keeping your body good throughout the day
How To Keep The Mind Healthy Throughout Day
You know it and probably hundred people told you about, but its so important that I cant skip it. Drink lots of water. Period, you know everything about it
Keep handful of nuts in your drawer, peanuts, almonds, chickpea whatever you like. This should be your go to snack whenever you feel to have something. A cheese cube is also a good option.
Avoid coffee as much as possible, Am not saying don’t drink coffee, but try to replace it with something similar and good, e.g. lemon tea. While caffeine gives you immediate boost, it also dehydrates you. You know it all, just avoid as much as possible 🙂
Try to avoid lunch parties. We tend to have birthdays or something when working in a company. In such case, Its common to have Pizza or Biryani parties for lunch. Once such things are done, your work for day is almost over, try to avoid. Just cut the cake and have your regular lunch and party hard in evening 😉
Am pretty sure I have not told you things which you already don’t know, but I have definitely summarized them for future reference. Feel free to try them and let me now in the comments. Also let me know if you don’t agree with anything I said. Once more, you don’t need to agree with it, you just have to try it.
All the best, thank you for reading.