Your Diet and Productivity

In the globalised and hyper-connected world of today, we can eat almost any kind of food or fresh produce available, regardless of the season. With such a variety of food and superfoods available, it’s never been easier to eat well. However, instead of being truly conscious about our diet and productivity, we often just grab a quick bite to keep us going. Whilst convenient, this isn’t always the best choice for fueling our brains and bodies throughout the day. Read on to find out what to eat to be at your most productive… 1. Eat to Enhance Your Brain Function While grabbing a quick take-away can fill the gap and keep you going, processed and refined foods have been shown to have a detrimental effect on our brains. According to an infographic put together by Hubspot, sugary foods such as soft drinks and sweets can cause a rush of glucose to the blood stream and a subsequent sugar crash, which can leave you feeling lethargic and slow. However, foods such as avocados are a better choice as they contain mono-unsaturated fats, which reportedly increase blood flow in the body, and thereby the brain. These kinds of healthy fats are also found in olive oil, and have been shown to slow the aging process, which is all good news when it comes to remembering those important tasks to check off your to-do list. 2. Eat to Stay Alert Burgers, fries and processed pastries might be the most conveniently available food choices in and around the office, but aren’t necessarily a good choice for staying alert throughout the day. Snacking on...

Lunch Break Workout: Yes or No?

We all know that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, yet what are the pros and cons of the lunchtime workout tribe? 1. Why You Should be Exercising During Your Lunch Break Everyone has different times of the day when they feel that they are the most productive. For some people, they find that waking up and tackling a big task first thing is what gets them going and helps them to stay motivated throughout the day. For others, late afternoon or early evening might be their most productive time. Evan Williams, the founder of Twitter, Blogger and Medium, recommends working out during your lunch hour. Williams chooses to focus on important tasks instead and then exercise during the middle of the day. If you’re a highly productive person in the mornings it could be good to blast through your to-do list and end your most productive time zone with a rip roaring lunch break workout utilising the afternoon hours to catch up on lower priority emails and other tasks. However, he does add that this is made easier by the fact that he works opposite a gym, so it’s important to make sure whatever exercise you choose is easily accessible and doesn’t require travel time that could potentially disrupt your day by extending your lunch hour for too long. 2. Why You Should Save Your Exercise for Later in the Day While a lunch break workout can boost your productivity, could a midday workout also leave you tired and unable to carry out the rest of the tasks for your day? According to an article in...

6 Ways to Fight Your Fear of Public Speaking

Standing up and speaking in front of a group of people can be a daunting task for many of us. The fear of saying something wrong, or having our message fall on an unreceptive audience are anxieties we all experience at some point. Some people seem to be naturally gifted when it comes to communicating to a crowd, but the truth is that it often takes a lot of practice and preparation. Here are six tips to keep in mind when preparing to speak up: 1. Speak from Your Diaphragm If you’re ever done an acting class you’ll know that there are many exercises that are done to practice projecting your voice. By just being aware of speaking from your diaphragm and breathing from your belly you can project your voice more clearly and confidently. 2. Don’t Underestimate Your Ideas Have you ever been afraid to share your opinion because you can’t be sure of the outcome, only to have the person next to you in a meeting say exactly what you wanted to with a positive response? Although there might be a difference in preparation between a meeting and a big speech, just practicing speaking up in informal environments is confidence building in preparation for larger audiences. 3. Accentuate Your Strengths If you’re more of an introvert, public speaking in front of a big audience can be terrifying. However, the truth is that you can develop an on-stage persona and work to your strengths to make up for the fact that you might not always be comfortable with the idea of speaking in front of hundreds of people....

Stand-Up Desks: Forever or Fad?

Our modern lifestyles seem to have us constantly sitting down. From driving in a car, taking public transport, or the hours spent working at a desk, it feels like we spend so much time seated. Our lives have just adapted to being stationary and our environments have responded in the same way. But what if there was an alternative, and we could still work behind a desk, even without a chair? We’ve all heard about stand-up desks, but how many people actually use them, and how do they actually work? 1. Why Stand-Up Desks are Here to Stay According to various sources, sitting has been dubbed “the new smoking”, and working while seated behind a desk all day has even been linked to an increased incidence of disease, weight grain and high cholesterol. According to a study by a group of Canadian researchers for the Journal of Preventative Medicine, working while standing up has both physiological and psychological benefits, including weight loss, improvement in mood, work performance and cognitive functioning. With all this evidence available, the conclusion is that sitting behind a desk all day is bad for your health, although we all know how uncomfortable it feels to get up after a productive stint in a less than comfortable chair. Avid users of stand-up desks, like Mike Smith from Boxhead Media in the United Kingdom, have converted to working while standing up “…because it helps keep procrastination at bay.” Smith also adds, “[When] I’m standing… my body is upright and alert, I’m not going to fall asleep as I used to in my big comfy office chair and...

Managing Tasks: List Your Way to Greatness

We’ve been taught to make lists for everything. A list of friends you want to invite to your birthday bash, a list of goals to accomplish in your lifetime or even just a grocery list. While many of us are conditioned to write these kinds of lists (even if we don’t always check off all of the tasks), how many of us never make lists, ever? It might seem hard to believe that this happens in a world so driven by profits, pressure and productivity, but some people have just found other ways to manage their tasks without the need for any kind of list. If you’re one of these people who have managed to find a way of doing so, perhaps through having a good memory or a wonderful support network. But what if you’ve been struggling lately to manage everything, and would finally like to learn how to become a list person? Here’s four ways from us to get started: 1. Focus on a Limited Number of Tasks One approach to make sure you focus on what is important is to list three things that you need to do on a given day, and focus only on those, instead of trying to cram as many tasks into one day as possible. If you’re headstrong and eager to try out a more radical approach, you can test out Warren Buffett’s ‘two-list system’. 2. Be Realistic About Timeframes One of the problems with lists is that we often don’t take into account how long it will take to complete a task. Whilst we might be inspired by the thought...

The Science of Sleep and Productivity

Sleep gives our physical body a chance to repair itself and regenerates the mind, but how much sleep is actually necessary? We all know how important a good night’s rest is, and how staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish some work can be detrimental to your productivity levels the next day, and even the day afterwards. However, while some people can function perfectly well on only four hours of sleep a night, others struggle to get out of bed in the mornings after a full eight hours and make it to work on time. While most of us have the same desire to be productive and work hard, what is the ideal amount of sleep that differentiates between a good or bad day? In an effort to find out about some of the current research into sleep and how it affects productivity, here are three ways that the science of sleep has been applied in corporate environments: 1. Sleeping on the Job? If you’ve ever felt your head lolling on the verge of sleep in the afternoons at work, you’ve more than likely considered how wonderful it would be to take a nap in the office. Well, the  Metronaps website is definitely on your side; their research suggests that taking a nap can improve cognitive functioning and alertness, and that lack of sleep actually affects a country’s economy due to decreased productivity. If you work at Google, this concept is a reality. Google employees can rest their eyes in specially designed sleep pods. Other benefits of taking a nap on the job include enhanced self-confidence, performance and memory processing. Other companies such...