Being in a mental rut can harm our health, productivity, and mood. Constantly bombarding ourselves with tasks, either through procrastination or just straight-up overworking ourselves, can give way to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. So, let’s look at five ways to help boost our productivity and mood.
1. Sleep good, work better.
Sleeping is a fantastic, and probably the easiest, home remedy to boost energy. Our mind and body are interconnected, so keeping one healthy ensures the other will do the same. A good start is maximizing sleep quality. Sticking to a structured sleep routine that provides our body with at least 8 hours of sleep will ensure consistent energy levels during the day. But for this to work, you must stick to a specific bedtime and wake-up time. Inconsistent sleep patterns are almost as harmful to the body as little to no sleep.
2. A healthy body is an optimized brain
As mentioned above, our body and brain are interconnected. We have talked about resting our bodies, but what about fueling them? Well, certain foods that are high in vitamin B12—one of the main vitamins known for energy enhancement—can help boost energy levels, giving you the fuel needed to get through the day. Fish, meat, poultry, and other dairy products are high in B12. Incorporating this vitamin into your diet can help power both your mind and body, helping you take on whatever life throws at you.
3. Stop workin’, start walkin’?
We know this may seem counterintuitive, but taking a step back from a task or assignment can actually help you get it done quicker! Exercise is not only crucial for the body; it also promotes mental well-being. And exercise doesn’t necessarily mean maxing your deadlift between paragraphs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the block. Just getting your body moving helps relieve stress, which can significantly inhibit productivity. Before you even start your work, early morning workouts have been said to get your mind and body prepared for the day.
4. Put down the phone
Social media, texting, and phone calls ranked as the 4th biggest workplace distractions only behind bathroom breaks and talking with coworkers. We’ve all been there: a text message alert or a Twitter notification goes off, and you are instantly entranced into the endless rabbit hole that is your cell phone. There are a bunch of simple ways to prevent this from happening. For starters, keep your phone and work separate. This can go as far as keeping it in a different room, whatever prevents you from distracting yourself. Other methods, such as putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and “Airplane Mode,” can immensely cut down distractions without feeling disconnected.
5. Organize your workspace
For many, a cluttered workspace = a cluttered mind. Having a clean workspace can work as a productivity “placebo.” You can trick yourself into working harder when your surroundings are organized. Everyone has their own gauge on what is considered to be “clean,” so do whatever you think is necessary. If it means just clearing off your desk, then go for it. And if “clean” means sanitizing all of your work materials, then do that. Just make sure not to overdo it. There is a fine line between organizing your workspace and plainly pushing off work. Find that balance. Find that productivity.
Feeling run down can have a lasting impact on our short term productivity, leaving us feeling defeated and mentally exhausted. But simple changes to the way we carry on through the day can help boost productivity and increase energy levels. Simple changes to our sleeping patterns and diet are two vital ways we can achieve this added boost in energy. Other changes such as exercise and work habits can help maximize productivity without stretching ourselves too far. These tips do not have to be followed verbatim, but should act as a guide in helping you navigate what best fits your lifestyle.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
Reaching for food to calm down is an all-too-common coping mechanism, whether you’re dealing with world events, a demanding job, juggling home responsibilities or other stressors. Thirty-eight percent of adults say they’ve overeaten or reached for unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress, and of those, half do so at least once a week, according to an American Psychological Association survey. You can read more over at myfitnesspal.com
It is often easy to conclude that you’re just a ‘scatterbrain’ type of person and even begin to feel comfortable with it. Unfortunately, this attitude does not solve the problem of why you are so often distracted. There are so many factors that may cause your constant distraction, and it would be useful to know what they are to reduce the chances of making avoidable mistakes. For example, an Allianz Germany study discovered that 60% of drivers involved in accidents admitted to some form of distraction. Are you frequently distracted from the task at hand? Here some reasons why, and possible solutions you can try.
1. Mental health issues
Mental health issues can weaken your focus. Contrary to what you may have thought, depression and anxiety do more than change thought patterns. Their overarching effects extend to impact every other aspect of a person’s life. When the brain frequently perceives a threat, it becomes impossible to focus on a task. To solve this, you may require professional help to identify the actual source of your mental instability. Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists are specialized in dealing with issues of such nature. As a self-help exercise, begin a task that requires you to focus intently on it. Avoid checking your phone or doing any other thing that may require you to multitask. Over time, your brain retrains itself to stick only to what you set out to do.
2. When you work with relaxed deadlines
It is erroneous to think that more hours worked means you have accomplished more. When you find yourself trying to reach a deadline, you tend to avoid entertaining distractions at all cost. On the other hand, because the human brain tends to conserve energy when possible, relaxed deadlines are significant culprits for distractions. You may find yourself attending to non-pressing tasks when you have more time on your hands. It could be a video game to pass the time or a phone call to your best friend. It would help if you developed a laser focus on everything you set out to do to avoid these distractions. Begin by setting tight deadlines for yourself and discipline yourself to stick to them. Consider using DaaS cloud-computing solutions to create a timetable, with regular reminders or a to-do checklist. Create a shorter time frame to complete your tasks as this makes them more achievable and easier to accomplish. Sometimes, it may be useful to have an accountability partner to hold you to your word. For example, if you are working with a team to complete a project, inform the team leads that your report will come days earlier before the final sign-off. With this promise, the team lead will hold you accountable for the set delivery time.
3. Lack of good sleep
If you ever downplayed the benefits of good sleep, now is the time to discover its many mysteries. Lack of sleep elevates Cortisol levels in the body, which overrides your brain’s ability to function optimally. In medical studies, persons who suffer from sleep apnea have difficulty with brain focus. You may have realized the emphasis on ‘good’ sleep, and you’re about to find out why:
An extended period of sleep cannot qualify as being ‘good’ when you gulped down a few glasses of wine before retiring to bed. Alcohol is a significant culprit in sleep disruptions as it prevents you from getting enough Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycles to feel revitalized the next day. During the REM cycle, the eyes move rapidly but without sending visual signals to the brain. It is a deeper stage of sleep compared to the non-REM process. To resolve this, avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours before your bedtime. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for an adult, regardless of gender or age.
4. You may have adult ADHD
ADHD is the abbreviation of the condition- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unfortunately, people tend to believe this is something only “hyperactive” children suffer from. However, this condition also affects adults, and due to the variations in symptoms, adult ADHD may be difficult to diagnose without clinical help. For example, whereas a child may exhibit hyperactivity, an adult would not do so because they may have a higher level of self-control.
On the other hand, an adult may show signs of low concentration and inattentiveness. This is where distraction tendencies are higher than usual. That is not to say anybody who exhibits these traits regularly is a sufferer of adult ADHD. If you suspect this is your situation, seek a proper diagnosis from a specialized physician. Some of these conditions receive coverage from national health services. Fortunately, there are brain exercises to help you overcome your diagnosis.
5. Involvement in unhealthy relationships
Sometimes after a breakup, the brain spirals into a cycle of addictive coping mechanisms. It may come in the form of entertaining obsessive thoughts, regret patterns, and flashes of excitement. Sadly, this leaves very little room for focused thinking. It may manifest at work while driving or involved in any other house chore. In some instances, people have experienced terrible breakups, which affected career progress.
It may be challenging to identify the source of such unhealthy distractions, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. When you finally realize our distracting lifestyle, it may help to join a social network that discusses healthy coping mechanisms. This teaches you to interact with other people experiencing similar patterns. A shared supportive platform begins to help you discover positivity around you while breaking the cycle of constant distractions in your daily life.
Repressed experiences and emotions are other factors that may be responsible for your distracted tendencies. It is worth knowing that constant distractions are unproductive and tend to build an air of negativity around a person. Although they are impossible to avoid regularly, it is better to be aware and devise healthy means to handle such situations. In some instances, distraction is a sign of uncontrolled elevated stress. Keep your mind calm and your body in a deliberately relaxed state to reduce harmful stress responses.
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Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live