As a business owner, you might often find yourself feeling swamped with work and commitments. Between managing a team, a busy family life, and a never-ending to-do list, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind. Even though long hours of work are common, the average worker is actually productive for less than half of the working day. Turns out, you don’t have to be a workaholic to achieve your goals. Instead, by adopting easy healthy productivity habits, you can boost your efficiency and energy levels without sacrificing your well-being or sanity. As Brendon Burchard said, “The most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re not wasting your time.”
Here are some simple healthy productivity habits you can implement to help you achieve your goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Some of these habits may appear bizarre but are totally important and doable:
1. Strawberry Milk Shake at Bed Time
The mere thought of a Strawberry Milk Shake at Bed Time is enough to inspire productivity and creativity! This simple drink, when enjoyed in moderation, can work wonders for your mental state and overall well-being. At its core, this treat is a delicious blend of fresh strawberries, milk, and ice cream. It is a refreshing and satisfying way to end the day, and it can help you feel more alert and focused in the morning.
Studies have shown that consuming milk before bed can improve sleep quality, thanks to the presence of tryptophan and melatonin, two compounds that promote relaxation and sleep. Strawberry, whether consumed as a fruit or in the form of a juice milkshake, offers a plethora of health benefits. It is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, which play a vital role in maintaining overall health. Since your body will be relaxed use this time to prep for the next morning. Review any materials you’ll need for the next day’s meetings, presentations, or projects so you can eliminate the potential stress and distractions that come with scrambling to get everything in order in the morning. This frees up valuable time and energy that can be better spent focusing on the day ahead
2. Don’t Use an Alarm to Wake Up
The notion of waking up to an alarm is deeply ingrained in our culture, but that’s not exactly the best way to start your day. A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that waking up to an alarm can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm. Research has shown that abruptly waking up to the sound of an alarm can increase stress levels, negatively impact mood, and lead to a host of other health problems. Consider waking up naturally, allowing your body to slowly adjust to the morning light and gradually awaken on its own. This can lead to a more peaceful, energized start to your day.
But there is one problem, you might wake up too late too often. Instead of relying on an alarm clock to wake up, try using your biological clock to establish a natural waking time. This can prevent the common problem of oversleeping and improve your overall sleep quality.
Here is what I do to wake up naturally:
- Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your body’s internal clock. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to ensure you wake up feeling rested.
- Use Natural Light
Expose yourself to natural light in the morning, which can help regulate your circadian rhythm. Open your curtains or go for a walk outside to get your daily dose of sunshine.
- Try a Wake-Up Light
A wake-up light simulates a natural sunrise, gradually increasing in brightness to wake you up gently. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm and reduce sleep inertia.
- Use a Sleep Tracking App
Apps like Sleep Cycle can track your sleep patterns and wake you up during a lighter stage of sleep. This can help you wake up feeling more refreshed and alert.
- Establish a Relaxing Morning Routine
Take some time in the morning to do something relaxing, such as yoga or meditation. This can help ease you into wakefulness and reduce stress.
3. Your Body Will Thank You if You Workout
I can’t stress the fact that starting your day with physical activity can considerably enhance your cognitive abilities, creativity, and overall wellness. By engaging in morning exercise, you are not only reducing abdominal fat and blood pressure, but also cultivating a positive mood, decreasing stress, and improving your ability to concentrate and focus. These benefits can lead to a more productive workday, heightened decision-making skills, and a sense of achievement that endures throughout the day.
There are a few crucial points to remember if you want to make morning exercise a habit. First and foremost, it is critical to allow yourself time to acclimate. The first few weeks of an early fitness regimen might be challenging as your body and mind adjust to the earlier start time. Yet, with time and persistence, you will begin to reap the benefits of starting your day with movement.
Of course, you’ll need to make some lifestyle changes to successfully incorporate morning exercise into your routine. For example, it is critical to prioritize sleep and set an earlier bedtime. It can be difficult to find the energy and motivation to exercise in the morning if you haven’t gotten enough sleep. secondly, it’s critical to properly supply your body. Because everyone’s pre-workout requirements differ, you may need to experiment with various foods to find what works best for you. Remember, any exercise is better than no exercise at all. So if you find that fitting in a workout during your lunch break or after work is more realistic, go for it! Although I suggest morning as the best time for this, The most important thing is to find a routine that works for you and stick with it consistently.
4. Pomodoro With a Twist
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy that can help you increase productivity and focus. It involves breaking your workday into digestible chunks of time. But there’s more to the Pomodoro Technique than just setting a timer for 25-minute work sessions (called Pomodoro) and taking a 5-minute break after each one. To get the most out of this technique, it’s important to plan your workday ahead of time, take breaks that truly refresh your mind and body, and experiment with different intervals to find what works best for you. If you want the most out of prioritizing, tracking, and time allocation you can use time management apps to get the job done faster. To make your work sessions more effective, take 20 minutes at the beginning of your workday to plan out your tasks and estimate how many Pomodoros each will take. I call it the Dynamic Pomodoro, longer work sessions for tasks that require extended periods of focused attention, and aggressively shorter ones for those that don’t.
We found that the most productive employees worked for an hour and then took a 20-minute break.
Not all breaks are created equally. Use your breaks to give your brain and eyes a recess from displays rather than idly scrolling through social media or staring at your phone. To re-energize yourself and clear your mind, get up, stretch, go outside, or practice a short meditation. You may increase your productivity and accomplish your daily goals more quickly by using these suggestions and altering your intervals in accordance with your level of energy and the type of work you’re performing.
5. Stand Up and move
Yeah, no kidding. When you sit for long periods, your body and mind can become stagnant, leading to fatigue, reduced focus, and even physical health problems. But standing up and moving around can help counteract these negative effects. It gets your blood and oxygen flowing, delivering energy and nutrients to your body, which makes you feel more alert, focused, and energetic. Plus, it can help fix bad posture and back pain, making you healthier in the long run. So, moving around during your workday, or even just taking a quick stretch break, is an easy way to boost your productivity and health.
6. Don’t Multitask? (*Key Productivity Habits)
Wait what? “But I thought multitasking has become a desirable skill”. This belief is nothing but a fallacy. Research has shown that the human brain cannot focus on more than one task at a time, and what we perceive as multitasking is simply our brains rapidly switching between tasks. This constant switching comes at a cost – it reduces productivity, increases stress levels, and impairs cognitive functions like memory and attention span. So, focusing on one task at a time (Mono-Tasking/ Being in the zone) allows you to give your full attention to the task at hand, leading to better quality work and a deeper understanding of the task.
To make the transition from multitasking to single-tasking, it is important to prioritize tasks and focus on the most important ones first. Eliminating distractions like turning off notifications and optimizing your work environment can also help. You can also double down by using the Pomodoro technique hand-in-hand with this one.
7. Use the “two-minute-rule”
The origin of the Two-Minute Rule can be traced back to David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done. Allen, a productivity consultant, believed that by completing small tasks immediately, we free up mental space and avoid the stress and guilt of procrastination. The Two-Minute Rule is a simple technique that suggests any task that takes two minutes or less to complete should be done immediately. This could be anything from responding to an email to organizing your workspace. Completing small tasks quickly can create momentum since tackling small tasks right away can help you move on to more significant tasks with a sense of accomplishment.
The Two-Minute Rule should not be used as an excuse to put off more difficult tasks, though. You should use it as a tool to help you get started and stop procrastinating. You’ll develop a sense of consistency and discipline that may be applied to other aspects of your life by doing little tasks right away. Also, you’ll resist the need to multitask, which can be detrimental to productivity overall and counterproductive. The Two-Minute Rule can also assist you in forming excellent habits. If you wish to begin morning exercise, for instance, you can start with two minutes workout regimen. You can lengthen your workout with time, but beginning off small might help you become motivated and gain momentum.
8. Keep a Tidy workspace
A cluttered workspace is a breeding ground for distractions. Decluttering your workspace makes you focus better on the one thing in front of you. Additionally, a clutter-free workspace fosters clearer thinking, making it easier to generate new ideas and solutions to complex problems, thus sparking creativity. I’d even go on to add a refreshing aroma to the room or a settle background music.
By the way, this is not a novelty thing. Your physical surroundings can have an immediate impact on your health. Dust and allergens can get trapped in a messy office, causing allergies and respiratory issues. Also, a neat and organized office can foster a feeling of peace and control, which lowers stress and anxiety levels. I advise regularly clearing your workspace by getting rid of anything you don’t use or need in order to maintain a clean environment. Purchasing storage solutions like filing cabinets, shelving, and desk organizers can also help you keep everything organized. You may organize your workspace better by color-coding different types of documents and giving ergonomics top priority.
9. Limit your to-do list to 5 items
Now we’re getting serious. To-do lists can help, but only if they’re used effectively. Unfortunately, many people use them in a way that actually makes things worse, creating a vicious cycle of failure and frustration. The key to making a to-do list work for you is to keep things simple. Start by limiting the number of tasks on your list to no more than five critical items. This will help you stay focused on the most important things, rather than getting bogged down in minor details.
Giving yourself a parking lot for things that are not urgent is another useful idea. This allows you to concentrate on the important tasks without becoming sidetracked by additional tasks that come up throughout the day. Be sure you have a good reason for each item you add to your to-do list. By doing this, you may effectively prioritize your tasks and save time by avoiding squandering them on unimportant ones. Remember, for each item on your to-do list set strict deadlines for yourself and adhere to them.
10. Don’t Bring Work Home
First off, you need to set boundaries. Draw a line in the sand and let your colleagues know that work hours are work hours, and personal time is sacred. It’s time to put your foot down and say “NO” to those pesky work emails after 6 pm or on weekends. So go ahead, unplug, and leave work stress where it belongs – at the office!
Spending quality time with loved ones is essential for a happy life. Schedule regular date nights with your partner, game nights with the fam, or weekend getaways with your buddies. Learning to say no is a superpower. Don’t spread yourself too thin by saying yes to everything. Protect your time and energy like a mama bear protects her cubs. It’s okay to decline invitations to work events or projects that don’t align with your objectives.
11. Read a book
Despite the fact that many people are adept readers for information and amusement, few people develop their reading skills for knowledge. Although reading books can offer many advantages, such as expanding one’s vocabulary or simply being smarter, I included them here for productivity’s sake. Try taking notes while you read; people often view their reading habits as a barometer of success. But taking copious notes from ONE book and using it is preferable to simply reading TEN books.
Here are some of my favorite recommendations to get you started:
12. Become a Digital Minimalist
The benefits of digital minimalism are nothing to scoff at – reduced stress and anxiety, improved productivity, stronger relationships, and even a boost in creativity. Digital minimalism isn’t about eliminating technology altogether, it’s about using it intentionally and finding a healthy balance.
Identify your digital clutter. Is it social media apps, email newsletters, or just excessive smartphone use? Once you’ve pinpointed the source of your digital chaos, start eliminating it. Uninstall those unused apps, disable those annoying notifications, and create a clean phone setup. We tend to undermine the power of face-to-face interactions, which are crucial for maintaining meaningful relationships. So prioritize them whenever possible. And don’t forget to take regular digital detoxes to recharge your mind.
13. Fail (Not really a Habit)
Failure is not the end, dear reader. It is not the opposite of success, in fact, it’s a necessary part of the journey toward it. Embracing failure. It’s not a sign of weakness, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. So, instead of sulking, use it as a chance to reflect on what went wrong and how you can improve. Practice resilience. It’s the ability to bounce back from failure, and it’s a skill worth developing. Focus on the positives and stay optimistic.
Analyze your failure. Take a step back and identify the root cause of your misstep. Ask yourself, what went wrong? What could you have done differently? What did you learn from the experience? It’s like stumbling upon a rock on your path; you don’t give up and turn back, you figure out how to eliminate or avoid the rock and keep moving forward. Don’t blame external factors or others for your failure. Instead, take responsibility, learn from it, and create an action plan to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Seek feedback from those who were involved or have experience in your field. Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve yourself.
14. Unplug at a Set Time
Balance is key – work all day, life slips away; rest all day, work’s here to stay. Set an end time for work so you can ensure that you have enough time to unwind and engage in activities that are important to your personal life. If you know your end time, you’ll do things better with a “deadline” mindset. You don’t wanna hate what you do, and you definitely don’t want burnout! Setting a specific end time for work can help create a sense of structure which can be golden for maintaining productivity and reducing stress.
Bonus: Have a Completed Tasks List
How much have you accomplished so far? How would you know?
You must monitor your progress and maintain accountability. The work list is only the first half of the battle. The other half is staying on course and actually finishing your objectives. You can assess how much you’ve accomplished and pinpoint areas where you need to make improvements by frequently updating your list and crossing out things that have been completed. Sort the things on your list at first by project or category. By doing so, you’ll be able to understand how each activity fits into the bigger picture and make sure nothing crucial is overlooked. Divide up larger projects into smaller, easier-to-manage subtasks. Set deadlines for each assignment and assign priority to each one.
Set realistic expectations. Don’t overload your list with too many tasks or impose unrealistic deadlines. This will only lead to frustration. Use a tool or app to help you stay organized. There are numerous apps available that can help you create and manage task lists, such as Notion or Todoist. Finally, Regularly review and update your task list. Make sure you’re staying on track and adjust your list as needed to reflect changing priorities.