It’s one of the most common problems we face: we want to get more done, but we often feel stressed and overworked. The reality is that many of the things we think will help us accomplish our goals actually don’t. Here are five “brain hacks” that can actually increase productivity and reduce stress.
Take a hot bath or shower. “The act of soaking and cooling off nearly instantaneously reduces the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, and boosts productivity,” explains Jim Nicolai, a technical writer and clinical psychologist. Don’t take a long one.
Lose the laptop. Going paperless and allowing yourself to be more productive is amazing, but you can actually do that right now by simply downloading a few apps and turning off email. Plus, “use a desktop timer, which tracks your reading hour for about five hours a day, so when you’re done, you’ve actually given yourself more time to be productive,” says Martin Miller, an Internet entrepreneur turned productivity coach and author.
Practice gratitude. The famous author and psychologist Tony Robbins challenged his students to actually write down three things each day that they are grateful for. They were reminded that true happiness derives from Tara Singlidge, a way of expressing gratitude.
Schedule a relaxing walk. Scheduling meetings, prioritizing your day and working as many hours as you can before bed are all things we are against at the moment.
But even a 15-minute walk can help. “Giving yourself a break from the pressures of information consumption and increasing what I refer to as ‘open time’ within our daily routines can have benefits that go far beyond just a sense of improvement on a productivity scale,” says Leigh Upton, a health and wellness writer.
Get More Done, Feel Less Stress
Schedule company calls. More meetings mean more stress. So when you have to sit down with a colleague to discuss your week and get more done, don’t worry, you’re not the only one getting all the calls.
In times of constant change, it is human nature to adapt and change with the times. This is great for driving success, but bad for your body and your mind.Tony Robbins
Change happens all the time; all of us are constantly making decisions based on the news, the statistics or an experience we just had. A key part of taking that into account is ensuring that we change in a healthy way. No matter what your role in life may be, you HAVE to take the time now to change your habits, whether you realize it or not. If you want to bring your creativity and productivity up to par, you need to start thinking about what you are really trying to accomplish.
Have you booked the meeting or planned the meeting? Have you handled the email with the customer the way you would have if you hadn’t spent the time in it? If you want to make sure you are getting what you really want out of your real-time interactions, try taking a few minutes to journal before every interaction and get more done.
Sometimes our brains will assume that we are doing something wrong, so using that time to reflect is invaluable to getting what you want out of weekly/bi-weekly/monthly meetings. However, our brain will not always get more done.
How to Improve Productivity
Think of your days as an asset. Your days are days that can be used for your benefit. If you block out the worst 10% of your days, you will have more success than average people who can’t block out the good or positive aspects of their days.Robbins
Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Lecture Series (MP3)
In this audio program, you’ll see scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness, or impulsiveness could be related to how specific structures in your brain work.
- Use simple breathing techniques to immediately calm inner turmoil
- Learn how to kill ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
- Develop total focus with the “One-Page Miracle”
How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Whether we realize it or not, most of our days have positives and some have major problems. What we tend to forget is that things are not going to stay static, or even go backwards. There are certain things that were good last week that isn’t going to be so good this week. A successful business is cyclical, and if you pay attention to those changes before they get out of hand, they become opportunities that can be used to your benefit. Following a routine only works when you are committed to doing it. If you don’t take the time now to transform the habits that are causing your productivity to be in check, you aren’t really going to have a chance to fix those problems.
Reduce stress and anxiety with psychology tips, tricks and articles
Tap into Your habits and use them to help you be more productive.
If there’s one thing your brain can do, it’s tweaking itself to increase productivity. It can be done by tapping into your human psychological weaknesses. If you’re stressed about your bills or deadlines or feeling overwhelmed in life, try using some of the tips for combating stress below, or simply go for a walk to feel better.
Take less physical dissertation.
Turn off your phone an hour before bed and go for a meeting instead. There’s nothing worse than missing an important call because the TV is on in the next room or being too stressed to stop for a breath.
Prioritise sleep and activity
Procrastinate. It’s easy. Reduce the overwhelm of being busy from the get-go. Have some tea or coffee before you take your daily showers or shave, instead of later.
Get More Done with Planning
Eat a well-balanced diet, which is crucial for improving overall health while lowering stress and helping you stay more focused.
Take a Side Technology
Take 10 minutes out of your day to do a specific task with a friend or family member. Then continue the task with your computer or phone (hint: It will almost always be better). Your brain gets a break and you don’t have to think.
Cardio with Ridiculous Joes
Nothing creates more mindfulness and relaxation better than touching a foreign object. No, seriously, without even thinking about it, gently place a dime on a hard surface like a counter or countertop. Go for a brisk 10-minute walk. Then touch another unfamiliar object and think about how uncomfortable (or not) you feel with the texture and smell. Go back to the first object and see how you feel about it now. If your discomfort is increasing, it means your mind is active. Notice if anything is opening up or flowing naturally. This is a simple way to break stress and engage in free-flow meditation.
Exercise before you hit the Desk.
Okay, no one says exercising before you work should be atrocious. But it’s always better to start the day with a serious workout than without.
The simple act of moving your body can lighten your mood and even calm your mind. Try to incorporate moves that don’t hurt, even stretches. Here are 10 steps to get a quick workout starting Monday.
“Stay away from foods likely to increase your blood sugar and crank up cortisol production (stress hormone) levels” says Elizabeth Evenson, a licensed clinical psychologist who practices in Pennsylvania.