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
As the situation in 2020 looks to be extending into 2021, it’s high time we start considering how we’re keeping healthy in the long-term.
Just like how overexertion will deteriorate your health, so too will a lack of exercise and fitness activities. In fact, you may have heard it said that sitting is a slow but sure way of reducing your lifespan potential, and nowadays a lot of us are doing a whole lot of sitting. The Workout Digest has only guide you will need to push you into 2021!
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.
With the pressures of the pandemic ongoing, impacting our work and home life, frustration, anger and anxiety are on the rise. You can read more over on LinkedIn..
We all know about the physical benefits of sports and exercise. If you want to build muscle, you lift. If you want to improve aerobic fitness, you might want to run… What do you do when you’re struggling with your mental well-being? myprotein.com has the stats on this one...
Finding your sense of calm in the midst of these chaotic times can feel like no easy task—to say the least! But it’s also more important than ever to find healthy ways to manage the stress, anxiety, and worry of modern life, especially when that worry feels constant. In today’s world, “everyday stressors” may have taken on a life of their own, but that doesn’t mean we have to give in to a pervasive sense of dread. Fitbit.com has more...
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If you set an alarm each night before turning out the lights, take note: Waking up feeling refreshed and alert could be as simple as changing the tone on your alarm clock, according to research published in the journal PLOS One. myfitnesspal.com has more on the terror an alarm clock can cause!
You drift off to sleep easily, then all of a sudden it’s 3am and you’re wide awake. The time you wake up during the night is no fluke, and with 74 per cent of women agreeing their sleep is often disturbed, we need to know why! The Sun has some insight...
With the increased popularity of intermittent fasting, what the ideal time is to stop eating at night has been hotly debated. For many years, R.D.s have been urging weight-loss clients to eat dinner earlier and stop snacking a few hours before bed. It seemed like a no-brainer, but researchers from Brigham Young University decided to put the theory to the test. Runner's World has the insight on this one!
If you’ve been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might feel like all of the days are running together and you don’t have a good handle on time anymore. Here’s a question for you: When’s the last time you took time off work? The Muse can tell you how you could make the most of your time off!
A recent study found that people who reported lower levels of exercise during Covid than previous exercise habits also reported a decline in their mental health. You can read more over at Runner's World...
If you’ve started to notice that you get out of breath after one flight of stairs, it’s time to work on your fitness. The good news is that it won’t take that long to improve no matter what type of exercise you choose. Think a month or two, if not a few weeks, although of course some disciplines will help you improve faster than others. Coach Magazine has the full story!
'That Peter Crouch Podcast' is one of my favourite podcasts out there in the world, every episode is packed full of football experiences and plenty of banter with a massive following. The special guest on the episode released on the 29th July was none other than Prince William. As president of the Football Association, the Duke of Cambridge has been keen to use his role to start conversations around mental health, including helping to rename the 2020 FA Cup final the Heads Up FA Cup final.
You can read more with BBC Sport...
A poll of 2,000 people has found that six in 10 are increasingly aware of the need to get time to themselves with some people getting up to three hours every single day. The Sun has more...
With three-quarters of men in the UK putting off going to the doctor – and even more so now – here’s how to keep an eye on things at home, and when to seek help! The Mirror has those helpful tips...
"Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years."
Whoever came up with this quote was definitely on to something. Gardens are special peaceful spaces with restorative qualities that can work wonders when we are stressed and under pressure. Stress is a worldwide 21st century problem that can cause physical problems such as higher blood pressure, muscle tension and digestive problems, while long-term stress can lead to serious health issues including depression and anxiety.
So many of us homeowners find ourselves wishing for a back deck, patio or gazebo space for entertaining or just relaxing outdoors. Everybody has a different vision for what they want that space to look like - some love the idea of a screened in porch with an a tin roof, others want an open and sunny deck space with weather-treated wood, and some of us just want a small gazebo with comfortable furniture, tucked in a shady spot away from the elements.
No matter what sort of outdoor space you’re interested in, you can build something that will stand the test of time in durability, provide your family with hours of fun and relaxation, and up the property value of your home - all while staying on budget. So what do you need for your perfect outdoor addition? That’s up to everyone’s individual taste, but there are definitely some decisions to make before you get started. Here’s what to consider:
Are you building a deck or patio just off the back door, or do you prefer to build a deck space around another point in the yard, such as a pool or pond? Do you want to build a gazebo or small patio in a garden or shaded area? While off-the-house decks and porches are the most popular, many people elect to build outdoor areas in other parts of their yard. Deciding your location should be your first step, because this determines the shape and size of your deck, as well as the materials you’ll need. Think of what you want to get out of your outdoor addition. That will help you decide where it is best located.
Most decks and gazebos are made of wood, while patios can be as simple as a concrete slab just off the house, wood, or something else entirely. In recent years, composite materials have also become popular for deck and porch building, for those who don’t wish to utilize wood. There are plenty of things to consider when deciding what materials to use for building - what matches/goes with your house, whether or not it’s weather/sun proof (and if not, can it be easily treated), cost, and more. Take the time to research different building materials to determine what fits with your style and budget.
Once you’ve got building materials out of the way, now you’ve got to decide about the rest of the project materials. Do you want to screen in your deck? There are many different types of screens, shades, and more to choose from. Will you use carpet for flooring and keep the natural wood? For the roof of your structure, if you have one, what type of materials would you like? There are many roofing options, from insulated roof panels to steel, to wood planking, and more. Will your structure have doors and windows, or will it be more basic? You should also think about safety measures for any steps or ramps you install.
Once you’ve got all the building materials sorted, you’ll want to think about how to finish your deck. Will you stain the flooring? Paint? Use carpet? Purchase weather shading? For many, decorating their deck space and making it their own is the best part of building a new outdoor structure. Making sure to buy durable materials that will stand the test of time through sun and rain is really important.
The same is true for any furniture you buy for your outdoor space. There are all sorts of amazing tables, benches, settees and accessories for outdoor spaces, but not all are created equal. Some brands are more about flash and appearance than durability. You want furnishings and decorations that won’t fall apart the first time it rains. And investing in a tarp to protect these items in harsh winters is a good idea, too.
If you live in an area with a lot of pests, up the comfort of your family and your guests by investing in a few citronella plants or candles to keep around. These come in a variety of styles, sizes and options so you can pick something that matches your decor and keeps pesky bugs like mosquitos and ticks away.
Making an outdoor space your own is so much fun. Get creative with various plants and flowers, outdoor accessories such as vases and collectibles, match your cushions and furniture to the decor of your home, and be sure to have lots of seating for all the guests who will inevitably arrive to enjoy your outdoor space!
If you use your outdoor space to store valuable items such as elaborate grills or smokers, or sports equipment like bikes, you may want to invest in some security and keep the outdoor space locked up when it’s not in use. Many screen doors come with high-quality locks and deadbolts. You can also equip your outdoor space with your security system, though this can be tricky in rural areas, due to nocturnal animals that may come rummaging around the property. At the very least, some security lights are a good idea. It’s advisable not to use your outdoor spaces for storage of expensive items unless you have a good security measure in place.
While some people are content to design and build their own decks, porches, patios and gazebos, there are plenty of people who hire a designer to do the hard work for them. However you choose to build yourself an outdoor structure is totally up to you; there’s great design firms everywhere as well as amazing and easy to follow DIY plans online.
Whatever route you decide to go, as long as you choose the right building materials, follow a well thought out plan, and build a safe, accessible and secure structure, the finished result will be an outdoor addition that will give your family and friends relaxation, joy and fun for years to come. However you paint, stain, decorate or furnish your outdoor living spaces, they are guaranteed to be a beneficial addition to any home.
During this stressful time, some people may be experiencing more stress than normal. There are plenty of techniques and methods out there, but Coach Magazine has advice on how athletes deal with when the stress of training begins to take its toll.
Its been said that you need three 'energy boosts' a day to keep yourself going! The Mirror has a top 50 list of ideas to keep you moving forward!
With the way the world is at the moment, it's more important than ever you look after your emotional health as well as the physical. myprotein.com explains why..
Staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak can be an isolating time for many people, with some worried about how they will manage to keep in touch with family and friends without seeing them.
Video calling is one way of keeping up communication, but is it as effective as seeing someone in real life? Head over to Sky News to find out more!
For those of you that don't like talking about poo, maybe its time to read another story, but for those of you that do, here is some good news about your mental health! A recent study has shown that going for a poo is actually good for your mental health! UNILad has more!
Its all about happiness isn't it? Starting the day on the right foot without the bad morning habits is the way forward! Boots has some ideas on how to start your day well!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live