How to Increase Productivity: 4 Surprisingly Effective Tips & Tricks
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Stefano Pizzo, MD
Being more productive and mentally sharp in your daily life can make a World's difference in its quality.
If you work more efficiently and get more done in less time, you will not only have more free time to pursue other interests, but you'll also impress your superiors or be able to grow your own business faster (that being if you're an entrepreneur).
Being more productive in basically ANYTHING tends to improve the outcome, but this is especially true for work and business.
As with most things in life, crafting a well-working plan and then executing it consistently, leads to progress. And you will see this in the five productivity boosting tricks below.
As one smart man by the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower once said:
Plans are nothing; planning is everything.
#1. Maximize your Sleep Quality
There is an insane amount of room to improve in the sleep quality of the common Western man.
And getting plenty of deep restful sleep is the corner stone of EVERYTHING, be it brain function, hormones, or general health, and yes, productivity.
Lack of and poor quality sleep has been shown to; reduce testosterone levels, impair cognitive functions, significantly reduce attention span, and result in - you guessed it - poor productivity in general.
What are the steps you should take to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the sheets and become a productive machine the next day?
- Set a daily time when you go to bed and wake up, follow it.
- Reduce your exposure to blue-light after 6PM.
- Eat more simple carbohydrates before bed, especially fructose.
- Consume foods that are proven to promote sleep (kiwi, honey...)
- Consume some inhibitory neurotransmitters like glycine.
- Sleep in a relatively cold and completely dark room.
#2. Eat for Productivity
As weird as it is, there are foods that can directly improve productivity.
Sure it may sound insane, but that's a scientifically proven fact.
Certain foods simply increase measured cognitive abilities (memory, attention, brain glucose usage, etc.) which results in better productivity in our day-to-day lives.
Here's some examples;
- Blueberries - in several scientific studies, consumption of blueberry powder, blueberry juice, or blueberry smoothie has been shown to improve cognitive functions in humans and animals.
- Dark chocolate - raw cacao is a dense source of antioxidants and nutrients vital for the functioning of the brain. It has been shown to increase cerebral blood flow and improve cognitive abilities.
- Coconut oil - being rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil rapidly converts into ketones after ingestion and the brain is able to use it as an energy source.
- Coffee - everyone knows how caffeine can energize us and help with wakefulness in the morning, but did you know that it has also been scientifically proven to improve brain function and productivity (and testosterone levels too)
- Gelatin - gelatin is the collagen protein derived most often from animal skin or organs. It holds within very important amino acids that modern diets lack (glycine and proline), which act as neurotransmitters.
#3. Minimize Distractions
Technology has enabled us to be more productive than ever before.
But it also has a draw-back of being able to cause MASSIVE distractions in your daily life.
I'm talking about checking facebook, instagram, and other social media sites multiple times hourly...
...Getting constant push notifications on your phone that you need to look at...
...Refreshing that email inbox several times per day.
All of that, can be ignored when you work on something else. Put the phone on sleep mode, only check email in batches later on when you don't have to focus on work, and seriously, you don't need to know what your friends had for lunch.
When you work on something, work on something, don't let useless applications distract you, because if you don't purposefully avoid them, they WILL distract you.
#4. Use Nootropics
Nootropics were invented when a Romanian chemist by the name of Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea synthesized a compund called Piracetam.
Nootropics were designed to improve cognitive functions, especially memory and learning, while also being neuroprotective, non-toxic, and possess very little side effects.
After the synthesis of Piracetam, several other nootropics and "smart drugs" have been produced, and it has been noted that many nootropic compounds also exist naturally in foods and plants.
Many of the synthetic smart drugs like racetams and Modafinil require a prescription, but the natural kind, like phosphatidylserine, choline, huperzine A, Bacopa Monnieri, or Lion's Mane do not.
It has been shown in many studies that various nootropic compounds enhance productivity and cognitive functions. You can read about the best natural nootropic supplements here.