Your productivity level is directly correlated with how healthy you are in your everyday life. When you eat well and exercise, you give your body everything it needs to be as efficient as possible, and when you feel good, you’re happier too. Happy people tend to make healthier choices. Healthy choices have a positive impact on your cognitive performance and can help you stay focused all day long, so doing the right things for yourself can create a positive feedback loop pretty quickly.
Unhealthy choices –food and lifestyle — can create physical and emotional stress, which ultimately cause you to feel worn out and absent-minded.
How Your Diet Affects Your Productivity
Glucose is your brain’s main source of energy. The type and timing of your glucose intake determines whether you feel focused or not. We’ve all heard it a million times: foods like white bread, donuts and soda give you a big burst of energy because the carbohydrates in these items are processed into sugar very quickly. But, as soon as you are done metabolizing those sugars, you hit a slump. Fatty junk foods aren’t much better when it comes to giving you the ability to perform at optimum levels. The cheeseburger and fries you ate at lunch will keep you full longer, but they also require your digestive system to work harder to metabolize it all. The added effort can make you feel sluggish.
Still, the temptation to reach for sugary and fatty foods while you are at work can be strong. When lunchtime finally rolls around, you have been working hard all morning, you are famished, and you want something that is filling and satisfying. And being so hungry and drained weakens your self-control. This is the cycle you have to break if you want food to fuel your productivity and your overall sense of feeling great in your body.
How Regular Exercise Affects Your Productivity
Regular exercise helps improve many aspects of your life: It improves circulation, cardiovascular health, and can even make you happier! It can also make you more productive in your daily life.
Working out gives you a sense of achievement that frequently spills over into your everyday life. If you exercise before you go to work, you’ll probably arrive at the office feeling like you’ve already accomplished something. That positive feeling can propel you to seek more productivity and efficiency all day long.
2. Increased attention and focus:
Research has shown that exercise increases blood flow to your brain, which helps you think more clearly and creatively. A quick gym session boosts your ability to concentrate for up to three hours after a workout.
3. Memory Boost:
Exercise can improve your ability to store and recall information. An experiment performed at the University of Illinois observed a group of students who were asked to memorize a string of letters and were then allowed to run, lift weights or sit. The students who ran were able to recall the letters more quickly and accurately than students who sat or lifted weights.
4. Increased energy and stamina:
Exercise gives you the energy to power through your longest days. A workout turns up your metabolism and keeps it raised for a short while after you are done exercising, which makes you feel energized and productive. And, after a few weeks of regular exercise, your resting metabolic rate stays elevated so you always feel energized.
5. Increased happiness:
Working out helps your mood and increases your sense of wellbeing. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. And when you are less irritable, stressed or depressed at work, you get more done.
6. Immunity Boost:
Regular exercise is proven to boost your immune system. Studies have found that adults who exercise regularly are half as likely to get colds than those who don’t work out. The research also indicates that the longer you stick with a workout regimen, the more effective it is at preventing illness. This cold and flu season, when your coworkers are miserably fighting off another cold, you can be at your desk, happily getting your work done, grateful that you make time for the gym every week.
The first step to getting healthy (and productive) is to get moving. You need at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, five days a week. If that is difficult for you because it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, just start with what you’re able to do. Start with a five minute walk and ramp up as it becomes easy. Set small goals and keep building them. Look for activities that you like doing and find ways to incorporate movement into your everyday routine so that it becomes a habit. When you’re enjoying your activity, you will continue it for life.
These tips should get you started on your way to improved health and increased productivity. They are simple things you can start today and build upon as you learn more. Remember to set realistic goals for yourself and work toward a healthier lifestyle little by little. Every small improvement you make to your health will increase your ability to focus and be more productive.