Productivity is not always properly understood, as we often mistake working long hours as being the same as working productively. While they may sound related, that’s not exactly how it works. Productivity isn’t directly related to work either, although that is often the chief focus when we talk about it.
If we were to define human productivity, it would have to be our ability to produce the required/expected work, within the shortest possible time. Both long hours and fast completions will, however, fail to meet the criteria of productivity if the results do not meet the standards set in advance.
Now that we have a decent understanding of the term productivity and what it means, let’s discuss three effective strategies that can be easily turned into daily habits for boosting productivity in a sustainable manner.
1. Ensure You Have a Sleep Cycle.
If you want to function better, you need your brain to be in optimum condition. This is something that can only happen when you get enough quality sleep at night. Form a sleep schedule, get used to it over a couple of weeks, and then stick to the same sleep cycle every day. It’s actually a habit that’s much easier to follow than we think, but only after the initial few days of adjustment. Our bodies are naturally inclined to follow sleep schedules under normal circumstances.
If you find your bed uncomfortable and believe it’s preventing you from sleeping well, you need to address this immediately. Match your sleeping habits with the right kind of mattress, and a good night’s rest will massively boost your productivity. Just seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night will make you significantly more productive throughout the day.
2. Eat Well and Eat Intelligently.
We are living in a time where we really can choose everything that we put into our systems. So take advantage of this by forming an intelligent diet that focuses on supplying your body and brain with its quota of daily nutritional requirements. Studies show that our brains become less energetic after a heavy meal, which is on account of the fact that complicated digestion processes make us sluggish.
Avoid heavy daytime meals, in particular, as it’s best to spread your food intake into multiple small and easy-to-digest meals throughout the day. This will keep you supplied with the energy you need to stay functional, without slowing down your system. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated at all times.
3. Don’t Work for Long Stretches of Time: Take Breaks.
It may sound counterintuitive, but multiple shorter sessions with small breaks in between make us more productive. A few of the most popular and effective methods which follow this simple rule are mentioned below:
- 80 working minutes, followed by a 20 minute break, aka, the 80/20 rule
- The 60-60-30 method: 50 working minutes + a 10 minute break + 60 work minutes + a 30 minute break
- The 20-minute rule for forming habits: 20-minutes of decision making + 20 minutes of work
One point to remember about habits is that they can essentially be anything you want them to be, as long as you dedicate a fixed number of minutes/hours to a specific task every single day. Therefore, the possibilities are limitless and not just confined to the few mentioned here. Find daily tasks that you believe can help you be more productive, and then turn them into habits to become exactly that. This is the same principle which applies to learning itself, be it a new language, a new musical instrument, or even completing daily chores.