Ask the Experts: How to Maximise Your ProductivityIt’s high time to prioritise performance, bid adieu to distractions and find motivation in method. Here’s how to ensure your working day is working for you…
Set a Game Plan
Without a sense of direction in mind, it can be hard to muster up the energy to find purpose,” says mindset coach Lily Silverton. It may seem somewhat obvious, but the benefits of implementing some form of structure and breaking more substantial projects down into manageable micro-actions are plain to see. "Through setting goals you can identify what your priorities are, and how to let go of anything that's holding you back"; she adds. There is a lot to be said for recognising and celebrating the day’s small victories, too. Checking completed tasks off a list as you go, and taking a second or two to reflect on your achievements - however minor - will spur you on, propelling you towards the next task with newfound ardour.
Structure Your Space
The impact our surroundings have on our concentration levels is well-documented. A recent study found that workspaces imbued with natural light led to improved cognitive performance and mood, and an agreeable view helps to kick things up a notch, too. "Another important factor to consider is ergonomics"; says cognitive scientist and researcher Anja Jamrozik Otto. "It can be draining to work in one position for too long." Making an effort to move around your office space from time to time, and switching between seated and standing positions makes the world of difference when it comes to staving off productivity-sapping maladies. Then, for an uplifting jolt at any given moment - as a pre-meeting pick-me-up, perhaps - a dousing of Ilapothecary's clary sage and orange-laced Beat The Blues room mist ought to do the trick.
On any given day, we breathe approximately 20,000 times - largely without thinking. As effortless as it may feel, evidence suggests a strong connection between conscious breathwork and clarity of mind, meaning as far as performance is concerned, it can be an incredibly powerful tool. Next time you feel yourself becoming distracted, bring the focus back to your breath and concentrate on the air flowing in and out of your body. Just two or three minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing can banish brain fog and leave you with a significantly clearer head.
Feed Your Mind
Supporting your body with a steady stream of nutrient-rich sustenance has a knock-on effect on brain function. “Food is far more than just a source of fuel,” says Thomas Robson-Kanu, functional nutrition expert and founder of The Turmeric Co. For the best chance at maintaining razor-sharp focus throughout the working day, he recommends a diet rich in
Vitamin B12 - found primarily in eggs, dairy, meat and nuts - and since energy-obliterating caffeine crashes are notoriously tricky to remedy, it’s wise to keep an eye on your intake, and consider looking elsewhere for a better balanced hit. Stirred into your morning juice, Four Sigmatic’s Lion’s Mane Elixir confers myriad cognitive benefits, while The Nue Co.’s science-backed Nootro Focus supplement blend is clinically proven to strengthen neurotransmitter activity, thus bolstering our capacity to concentrate.
It's key to carve out pockets of meaningful pause throughout the working day in order to take stock, regroup and most importantly, mitigate mental burnout. Spending time immersed in nature is supremely good for all aspects of our health, hence eschewing aimless scrolling for a mood-lifting meander outside is a worthy trade when it comes to recharging the brain’s batteries. That said, between calls and incessant deadlines, a restorative wander may be out of the question, and that’s where Portal comes in. This undeniably immersive app delivers the focus-sharpening effects of the great outdoors while you're chained to your desk. "Escaping with Portal for just a few minutes can help to restore concentration and boost productivity levels" says co-founder Tim Daniels.
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