If you’re looking for ways to improve your productivity, the information out there can be daunting.
There’re tons of “gurus” telling you to do this and not that. The problem is there’s no one size fits all for increased productivity.
It’s up to you to use the information as a guideline and experiment to see what works for you.
Only you know what’s best.
1. A blank page does wonders for emptying out your brain
Back a few years ago when I first started producing content online, I was resistant to much of the information that’s said to help grow a business.
It all seemed a bit wo-wo. I found that everyone was basically saying the same thing in different ways.
Now I realize that this is necessary. Not everyone is going to be able to relate to one person.
It’s best to find a few guides that’ll help you on your journey. This will allow you to grow into the person you’re meant to be.
One of the things I was most resistant to was journaling. Theoretically, I understood the benefits but in real life application, I didn’t see the value.
Fast forward to now I journal at least 3–4 times a week.
Journaling has helped a ton with my productivity and depression issues.
A blank page is a trash can for all the thoughts that don’t serve you.
The University of Rochester Medical Center highlights some of the benefits of journaling.
These benefits include:
- Reduction in stress levels
- A coping mechanism for depression
- The opportunity to practice positive self-talk to allow your best self to shine through.
I always feel better when I journal.
Sometimes my entries are more like a prayer. Sometimes to uplift and motivate myself. Sometimes to release anger.
Those entries can be quite shocking once you realize what you’re holding in.
You have to be your biggest fan.
Journaling helps you release negativity so you can produce your best work.
I meditate right after my entry for the day. I find that my head is clearer than if I meditate only.
You’ll feel the effects of journaling straight away. A blank page at times is your best therapist.
2. Turn the shower dial to cold
I hated the idea of cold showers. I found to a revolting and punishing way to wake up every morning.
Many experts in the self-improvement world make cold showers see just as necessary as eating vegetables.
Cold showers are said to:
- Increase alertness– Your heart rate is increased. Creating a rush of blood through your body.
- Refines skin and hair– Cold water prevents the natural oils in your skin from being stripped away too quickly.
- Help with weight loss– Your fat is generated to keep you warm as you cold shower.
I decided to see if these benefits would manifest for me so I gave cold showers a try.
I absolutely hated it.
While I knew the amazing benefits, I couldn’t see myself doing cold showers long term. So I dismissed the hack completely.
After a while I found myself getting depressed to the point some days I would barely get out of bed.
I know that something had to be done to help jumpstart my morning. So I decided to try cold showers again.
This time I decided that I would shower at a normal temperature first then gradually turn the dial to cold.
I found that this method worked much better. I also found it was best to cold shower after my workout.
My body was already a bit warmer so the cold water was not such a shock.
Cold showers are also said to help reduce muscle soreness according to a 2009 study.
So if you’re looking for a way to increase your productivity give cold showers a try.
Yes, it sucks especially when you are toweling off shivering like a maniac.
But the after effects are amazing.
You feel less stressed, a calm mental space is created. You go about your day feeling free.
Most days I turn the dial to cold.
It still sucks.
It probably always will. But I don’t care. The positive benefits outweigh the temporary discomfort.
My next foray into cold exposure will be ice and cold water baths.
3. Delay your first cup of coffee in the morning
I love coffee and tea but I don’t drink it during the first few hours of my day. I like being in a complete fasted state.
I drink water only. My workouts are done fasted and without caffeine as well.
When you delay your first cup you help eliminate caffeine jitters because your cortisol levels are the highest first thing.
Throughout the morning your bodies hormonal surges level off.
The initial boost in cortisol ( in addition to perhaps a cold shower) should give you enough energy to get moving.
Caffinee used a bit later will enhance your energy and focus.
While everyone is different, I find that if I wait until almost noon and stop drinking coffee at 3 or 4 pm I’m the most productive.
I’m also able to sleep well that night.
Take a few days off a week from caffeine will also work.
In recent years bulletproof coffee has become all the rage.
I’ve tried bulletproof coffee in the past and found it to be a soft, long-lasting energy booster.
The three “hacks” I’ve highlighted are ideas to help you become the most productive possible.
Start with one “hack” for a week and see how it goes.
Have fun experimenting!