Ever notice that every productivity site talks about all the things you need to stop doing, but they never talk about what you should be doing to get the most out of your day?
For all you hustlers out there – getting to the top is one thing, but staying at the top is a whole different ballgame. It’s not enough to work your tail off to get to where you want to be. You need to keep your body in tip-top shape to keep it there.
Productivity, and hijacking productivity isn’t just about the latest technology, Slack channels or CoSchedule posts. It’s about making sure that you’re optimizing your brain, your recovery, and ultimately your health. If you can sleep through the night, manage to ensure that your anxiety isn’t taking over your life and eat some nutrient dense foods – your company, your team and even (yes, you) will be more productive all around.
And that productivity is key.
So, from a health professional who works almost exclusively with game changers, professional busy bee’s and entrepreneurs – I want to share my top four tips to biohack your brain so that you can be more productive.
Let’s get to it…
1. Block out the bluelight
Smartphones, tablets and computers all emit blue light wavelengths, which suppress our body’s ability to create melatonin. This hormone is key to our sleep rhythm. Blue light tricks our brains into feeling more awake – which prevents us from getting a restful nights’ sleep.
In the likely scenario that you’re an entrepreneur that can’t part with your device, make sure you download F.Lux on your android and laptop, or turn on nightshift on your Apple products. You can also check out blueblocker, a type of glasses that blocks bluelight on Amazon. They might not look sexy, but they’re key if you’re in front of a screen most of your day.
2. Make your morning coffee work for you, not against you
I’ve got nothing against coffee, in fact it’s been shown to be protective against Alzheimer’s, but use your coffee to feed your brain, without the crazy caffeine spike. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or MCT oil and 1 scoop of an unsweetened protein powder that’s heat stable (try New Zealand Whey or Progressive Naturals) to your morning java. Then throw it all together in your blender and voilà, a latte that’s low in sugar, high in good fats and blood sugar stabilizing to kickstart your brain.
You’ll thank me later.
“Your health should work for you, not against you. When you make your health a priority, you’re optimizing for success and increasing your productivity” – Dr. Ashley Margeson
3. Start fasting
Intermittent fasting is the new trend in the health sphere, with every modern day hustler claiming that it will help you lose weight, boost productivity and increase your mental clarity.
The research itself is interesting. I generally suggest using a 16 hour fast 2 to 3 times per week from 8 pm to noon the next day. This can be enough to help your body reach a state called Ketosis where the body runs out of carbohydrates and begins running off fat instead. The downside? If you’re a woman, there’s not a lot of research done on our population, which means we don’t fully know how this affects hormones 3 months out.
4. Upgrade your body mechanics
We feel tired if we’re slumped in our office chair all day. Not only does bad posture cause us pain, it also makes us unable to breathe deep and thus supply the brain with enough oxygen to be productive.
Want to overcome this lack of oxygen?
Set an alarm every 45 minutes to get up and move or stretch. It’s that simple. Want to step it up a notch, and really oxygenate your brain? Invest in a standing desk. Switching positions regularly: from standing to sitting to walking and so forth. It’ll help your brain function to its highest capability.
Wrapping it up…
Productivity isn’t just about four tricks, it’s also about knowing how to optimize your work day.
A Duke University study concluded that we’re most productive in the first two hours after we wake up. Unfortunately, most morning routines and work schedules are not designed to maximize this bright-and-early potential
Stop wasting the first two hours of the day reading the newspaper, checking twitter, waiting in line for coffee, or driving into the office. Create a task list for the following morning to tackle as soon as the coffee kicks in.
I promise, you will notice your productivity skyrocket.