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9 life hacks to help you be productive all day
9 life hacks to help you be productive all day

If you are feeling overwhelmed in the middle of the day with three to four hours of work ahead, read this article to the end and learn how to manage and replenish your inner energy.

9 life hacks to help you be productive all day
9 life hacks to help you be productive all day

1. Determine the most productive time for yourself

To do this, you need to experiment a little. For one to two weeks, first be a morning person and work in the morning, then shift the peak of activity into the daytime, and then try to work at night. At the same time, analyze your condition and keep a diary. It is advisable to give up sweets, caffeine and other stimulants for this period.

For most people, the decline in activity occurs in the afternoon, and productivity peaks occur either in the early morning or late evening. According to research by behavioral economics expert, professor of psychology Dan Ariely, 40% of his subjects say the most productive period is from 9 am to noon.

2. Sleep during the day

People often experience sleep deprivation due to early waking up and / or late lights out. Use the daily decline in activity to fill this gap.

NASA studies on the effects of naps on pilots' performance showed that 26 minutes of naps increased productivity by 34%.

Even 10-12 minutes of sleep makes one working day two. Usually in the afternoon, around two in the afternoon, everyone in the office feels like sleepy flies. But if you take a short nap at this time, it is as if a new working day begins. To overcome mild sleepiness after a nap, you can drink coffee.

And some drink it before bedtime. Then they set the alarm for 15-20 minutes to wake up just when the caffeine gets into the blood. This is called Coffee Nap. It invigorates better than coffee or a nap separately.

If taking a nap is not an option in the workplace, devote your most unproductive time to routine tasks (cleaning or checking email).

3. Choose simple solutions

Decision making is a very energy intensive process.

It's easier not to order food at all than choosing what and where to order for an hour.

Simple rules allow you to save energy in a complex world.

There is another way to catalyze the decision-making process. Blogger John Bell once shared it. When his colleagues can't decide where to go for lunch and no one comes up with solutions, he says, "Let's have lunch at McDonald's." Everyone refuses and begins to gush with ideas.

A deliberately inappropriate option acts as an anchor, pushing off from which you begin to generate better options. If you spend a lot of time making even trivial decisions, try to find the most inappropriate among all the possible options. This will help you get out of the stupor and start looking for good solutions.

4. Free up memory for what's really important

By freeing the mind from the "floating" tasks, it will become easier to think. To do this, you need to do something like unloading the brain.

Take a piece of paper and write down on it all the ideas and tasks that are spinning in your head. The process will be chaotic - this is normal. Just try to formulate tasks with a verb. Then group it all into different areas of life: work, study, travel. Divide tasks into tasks that can be solved within a few hours or a couple of days, and projects that require long-term work.

After uploading, store tasks and projects in a convenient external storage system such as Maxdone or Wunderlist. After that, you will have more energy, it will become much easier to work. You will not need to waste energy remembering tasks and worrying about forgetting something.

5. Scroll less social networks and news feeds

Several good books were published about media detox in 2016: "Digital Diet", "Intellectual Stroke". But Nassim Taleb wrote about the importance of refusal from news in The Black Swan.

Why drown in streams of low-quality content, waste time filtering it, if there are fundamental books, authors, press and concepts? Their significance is eternal or long-term. It is a shame to study information, the significance of which lasts a couple of minutes or a couple of hours.

Attention is an invaluable but limited resource.

Spend it on generating knowledge (writing an article, reading a textbook, attending a training session) or emotions (good movies, chatting with friends).

GetAbstract founder Rolf Dobelly recommends watching one of your favorite media once a week. Another option is to apply the 20/80 principle: monitor only 20% of media resources in which you think you find up to 80% of important or interesting information.

6. Take breaks

It is good for health, and also breaks are necessary to replenish cognitive resources and restore concentration.

Rest is a change from one activity to another.

You can distract yourself from work in several ways:

  • Go for a walk in a nearby park, or just walk to the water cooler every half hour.
  • Take your eyes off the monitor and keyboard and draw something on paper.
  • Take advantage of your work break to call your mom or a close friend.
  • If you're a freelancer, incorporate household chores into your work timeouts (wash the dishes, take out the trash, pet the cat).

The simple and free Workrave program will help you remember to relax. Set the duration and interval of breaks, and the program will remind you of them. In it, you can set up both full breaks and a mini-rest for the eyes, which lasts only half a minute.

7. Go in for sports

There is a serious misconception about sports: it allegedly takes away energy, which is already lacking. I, they say, and so at work get tired, where else to run? What other gym?

In fact, sport gives energy.

If you do not set serious goals like a marathon or triathlon, sports do not require a special diet and rest. Three to four workouts a week lasting 30-60 minutes (running, cycling, swimming, other aerobic activities) will give you vigor, good mood and the ability to keep your working pace much longer.

If you can't even afford this, increase your physical activity. The simplest way is to refuse the elevator and climb the stairs. Nobody forces you to climb to the twentieth floor of an office skyscraper, but walking two or three extra floors is quite a feasible task. You don't even need to wear sneakers.

8. Watch what you eat

Matt Fitzgerald, in his book The Endurance Diet, spoke about the rules that all the best athletes in different endurance sports adhere to in nutrition. One of the key ones is to eat predominantly natural, whole foods.

Choose foods with a low glycemic index, that is, those that have a slow rate of absorption of glucose into the blood.

These are mainly whole and unprocessed foods. There are six main groups of such products:

  1. Vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
  2. Nuts and seeds.
  3. Natural oils.
  4. Natural meat, fish and seafood, not factory processed.
  5. Whole grains.
  6. Dairy products.

Such food has a lower glycemic index. It provides a more even supply of energy throughout the day.

In contrast to these high-quality products, four groups of low-quality products are distinguished:

  1. Refined oils.
  2. Sweets.
  3. Factory-made meat products.
  4. Fried food.

Such food is bad for the internal energy. If you snack on sweets, especially industrial sweets, sugar levels will jump from very high (briefly) to low. This causes an "insulin roller coaster": after a short alertness, there is prolonged fatigue and weakness.

9. Analyze the passing day

Spend 5-7 minutes each evening analyzing the past day, reconciling the calendar for the next day, and updating appointments and to-do lists.

At the end of the weekend, you can devote 10-15 minutes to this.

This is a very simple practice that reduces the amount of chaos in life. And the less chaos, the less energy is wasted.