Tag Archive: increasing productivity

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.


blank calendar reminder

blank calendar reminder

I’ve always talked about the importance of routine or ritual in your day, especially your morning ritual or routine. That sets the tone for your day. Having a weekly routine is just as important. Having a routine will make the difference between you just going through your days and actually getting the end results you’re looking for. After all, that’s what it’s about.

Following a pattern sets you up so you always know what’s next and as a result to be better prepared for what is coming up, so you’re improving when it comes to being ready and having what you need in place. Once you do things repeatedly, you develop the mindset for being more efficient and you discover how to improve on your processes and how to do things more quickly.

Having your routine in place also makes it easier for you and your team to schedule additional things, so you start to create fluid movement within your week that allows for increased momentum. If you look at the things you do on a regular basis, you will see that there are things you do every week.  You may have something that should be getting done weekly, but it’s not happening because you haven’t got your schedule in place or you’re operating off of what you have in your head.

It’s just as important to have a structure for your week as it is to have a daily one. Start by making a list of the things that have to be done every week. Figure out what days and times work best for each activity that you list and get it in your calendar. You might find that something comes along that will call for a change in the day you do something, so make the shift accordingly.

Establish your weekly routine, setting up your days based upon what works for you. Remember, productivity is personal, so take the concept and make it fit you like your favorite pair of shoes. Get it in place and stick with it. It will help you become more efficient. You’ll also find that you have more control of your time with a regular routine in place. Over time your routine will contribute to your increased level of productivity.


Your Ideal Day

Biz Woman Time FreedomYou really can have productive days, and not just one, I’m talking plenty of repeats here. It’s about creating the structure that fits for you to make things work. One thing I know that people wish for is more time. We all know that’s not going to happen, but what if you could design things in a way that allowed you to get back two hours of your time each day? It’s doable. One way to get back some of the time that you’ve got going out the window, never to return is to let go of the dead weight. By dead weight I mean the things that don’t matter; the unimportant things that are taking up your calendar and wasting your time.

Right now, look at your calendar and your to-do list and determine whether or not each of the items there is worthy of your time. Yes, I said “worthy”. If you’re going to allow something onto your calendar or onto your to-do list, it has to be worthy of your time. For each of the items, look to see if it’s directly related to something that’s priority for you; so related to a goal or a project you’re working on; maybe something for a client. If it’s not worthy, remove it so you can focus on the things that matter.

Speaking of focus, refining yours is another way that you can get more time back in your day. When you look at what you’ve done so far today, how would you rate your focus? Have you been all over the place today in a somewhat irrational manner, or have you been very intent and precise in the actions you’ve taken and the things that you’ve given time to today?

One other way to add time back into your day is to step back and make time for you. As the saying goes, sometimes you have to slow down to go faster. So true! You can’t go through each day, all cylinders firing, pouring into your clients, you family and others and expect to be able to keep it all up without making time for you.

Those are just three things that you can do to add time back into your day and begin to create the structure for having your ideally productive day every day. If you’ve ever imagined what your ideal day would look like or attempted to create it, start with these three things. What would you be able to get done during your day that you just can’t seem to accomplish right now? You can have that ideally productive day if you consciously create it and make the effort to live it each day.

If you’re striving to create more productive days, and to be productive every day and just can’t seem to do that, make room in your calendar for one of these.


Planning On Glass BoardWith just a few weeks lift in the year, the air is buzzing with end of the year activities. Sadly, though most people don’t think about the year ahead. If you haven’t already laid out your plan for next year, you’re way behind and it’s time to catch up. I know that some people cringe when they hear the word “plan” or at the thought of having to create one.  I’ve heard so many people say that planning takes too much time or even that it’s a waste of time.  The truth is that planning will actually save you time, guide your actions and help you accomplish what you set out to do.  There is power in the process.

When you don’t plan, the time that you give to execution will take much longer and decrease your productivity level.  Without going through the planning process, unexpected things happen that you didn’t think about and they derail your efforts.  You spend time dealing with the unexpected, looking for solutions to put the fire out and get things going again while work is stagnated.

It only takes about 10-12 minutes to plan your day.  That small investment will save you about two hours every day, which translates to about a 25 percent increase in your level of productivity.  Regular planning has you spend more time on activities of higher value, which in turn increases your effectiveness and your efficiency. Planning will facilitate achievement of your goals, and helps you to make good decisions, define opportunities and possible threats and can even help reduce risk and prevent loss.  Inside of the process you are able to see the resources that you need, map your route and determine how you will deal with any bumps in the road, should you hit them.  All of this becomes possible simply because you make the investment of your time and energy to create the plan.

Statistics show us that every minute that you plan saves you ten in the execution of the plan.  That translates into the time that you make to plan giving you a return of ten times, which is 1,000 percent on the investment of your time and personal energy.  That is huge!  Where else can you make an investment and get this kind of return?

Without planning you don’t know exactly what you’re working on from day to day, every week and over longer periods of time so you play the guessing game on a regular basis or you get in the middle of doing a particular thing and notice that there’s something that you forgot to do—something that should have been done before you started working on your current task.  You also get to points in your process when you realize you don’t have something that you need. Not a good scenario when you’re trying to make things happen and complete the projects on your agenda or reach your goals. You want to know what that next step is. If you don’t it will cost you.

With a plan you’ve done the work that has you already halfway there. Your plan is your map that gives you what you need to move forward and a great chance of success. So, the next time you hear the word “plan”, don’t cringe, embrace the power that the process gives you.  Get prepared for 2015. Plan your work, and work your plan!


Woman Meditating OutdoorsSome see mediation as contemplation or reflection, but meditation is much more than this. It’s a state of thoughtless awareness and of deep peace. That state occurs when your mind is silent, but completely alert. It’s not something that you do, but rather a way of being that leads to inner transformation and a higher level of awareness.

When we look at the results that meditation yields we see that there are numerous physical benefits such as lowered blood pressure, increased immunity and reduced pain to name a few. There are also the mental benefits. Studies have shown that regular meditation leads to increased focus. It enables you to pay closer attention to detail, due to the fact that it helps increase the gray matter of the brain. It also increases memory skills and your attention span which all ultimately contribute to increased productivity.

When meditation is in the mix, the mind becomes sharpened through the focus it gains and it expands. It’s possible to have a sharp mind but without that expansion, you end up with the tension and stress that so many experience on a daily basis. Having the expansion of consciousness without the sharpness leads to a lack of action on not only a daily basis, but overall contributing to lack of progress.

Besides all of the other bonuses that meditation affords you, it leads to improved creativity which we all know comes in quite handy in business. This happens because the right side of the brain works actively when you meditate regularly.  That side of the brain is responsible for creating new ideas. That’s how some not so creative people, such as myself, are able to be creative.

Usually when people come to me to learn how to increase their productivity, they’re surprised at my approach. Who would think that you could do so by including meditation in your daily routine? It might seem a bit odd, but I’m here to tell you that it’s true.  Meditation helps boost your productivity. It’s just one part of my holistic approach to getting things done.


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