Italian spaghetti and vegetablesWhat you eat impacts the results you get with your to-do list. Being productive takes more than the right tools and supportive habits. This is one reason why my approach to helping people get things done is a holistic one. I look at things on all levels, one of them being physical. The others are mental, emotional and spiritual.

Here, I’m talking about the physical level of productivity, which encompasses more than having your environment structured in a way that serves you. That is one of the things that first comes to mind when you think about being able to get it done along with tools and other things. One other necessary component on this level is diet. What you eat will either fuel or hinder your productivity. How many times have you stopped working to eat lunch, come back to what you were working on and just not had the energy or capacity to continue with the same focus or to continue at all? You might also find that there are times in the day when you lose concentration or it’s hard for you to be present. Then there are those times when you’re on the go all day so you either miss out on meals or end up eating things that you know you shouldn’t eat, but you do because it’s what’s available, giving in to the horrors of fast food. What’s convenient isn’t necessarily what’s good for you.

Look at what you’re eating that diminishes your productivity and make a shift to fueling your productivity. Your energy level drops off after you eat lunch, or eat particular things is because you’re consuming high-fat or large meals that divert the blood supply to the digestive tract and away from the brain, causing sluggishness and fatigue or you’re consuming things that lack nutrients. Another popular go-to are sugary foods which can make you feel like you’re spaced out, weak, confused or even nervous.

Making that shift in what you eat can contribute to increasing your productivity by 20%. Food impacts how clearly you think and concentrate, your intelligence level, memory and reaction time, and even how quickly your brain ages. Your brain is hungry tissue and even burns fuel even while you sleep, so eating breakfast is the best way to restock fuel stores and prevent a mental fog later in the day.  Consciously choose what you’re eating, especially for breakfast and lunch and snacking. Nuts and seeds have vitamin E and antioxidants; whole grains give you fiber, vitamins and magnesium; dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals like iron which brings more oxygen to the body and the brain. All of these support cognitive function. Get plenty of fruits and vegetables along with plant based protein to fuel your body and keep your physical energy up.

Plan what you’re eating just as you plan your weeks and days. Create your menu for the week and think about some of the things I’ve mentioned that will help you get through your day and your to-do list. Leave out the heavy stuff and stay away from the high fat content. When it comes to snacks this is where it’s easy to just lose it so think about what you can eat to fuel instead of sucking the life out of your productivity. Make sure you get fruits in the mix; prepare a snack mix with nuts and dried fruit, prep fresh veggies and have them ready so all you have to do is grab them and keep things moving.

Fueling your productivity starts with awareness. Seeing what you’re eating that’s not supporting you and shifting to things that will support you. Planning is a big part of the puzzle and don’t get discouraged when it comes to planning. It really does benefit you and it’s definitely an investment of time, not a waste of it.


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