These simple tasks have amazing health benefits and could help you focus better at work.
Researchers are constantly looking for ways that people can increase their health, focus and productivity. There are many complex theories, but often it’s easy to overlook the simple tasks that could start your day on the right track. These quick tips will provide you with three ways to be more productive at work, and promote a healthier lifestyle.
It probably isn't a surprise that most people’s first thought about the word “caffeine” is coffee. And many of them start their day with this hot, soothing beverage. You know coffee helps get you through the day, but did you know about all the health benefits that are associated with this popular drink?
Coffee contains essential nutrients your body needs, including:
- Pantothenic Acid
The names may sound crazy, but these are actually many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, and they can add up quickly when you consume several cups of coffee throughout the day.
A caffeine boost can make you feel happier. This happens because more of the “happy” neurotransmitters in our brain like norepinephrine and dopamine are created from caffeine. These endorphins lead to better work performance because happiness raises energy levels. Higher energy levels and elevated mood can allow you to have a more positive outlook on life, which could also play a large part in what you decide to tackle and accomplish in a given work day.
By drinking coffee, you could also be at a reduced risk of major diseases and illnesses including Alzheimer’s, Type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers, and Parkinson’s. Some interesting facts and statistics are listed below:
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia affects many people worldwide and has no cure. Several studies show that if you drink coffee, you could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by 65%.
- Your daily cup of Joe can reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 25-50%
- Coffee can help prevent a leading cause of death: cancer. Coffee is attributed for protecting you from liver and colorectal cancer. Coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of liver cancer by 40% and colorectal cancer by 15%.
- Your risk of Parkinson’s can be significantly lowered (by 32% and up to 60%) when you consume coffee.
Overall, coffee helps to deter many diseases and encourages a happier, longer life.
Eat “Brain Food”
As often as you hear “eat a heathy diet,” trying to keep up with exactly what is considered "healthy" can be exhausting. Overall, a healthy diet consists of foods that are not only good for your heart but that play an essential role in powering your brain, and feeding its "good fats", hence the term “brain foods.”
Did you know that your brain consumes 20% of your daily calories? MedicalNewsToday insists that the brain is an energy-intensive organ and brain foods are a necessity for its overall functionality. Brain foods help build and repair brain cells, reduce stress and inflammation, promote blood vessel growth and provide essential vitamins and antioxidants for your overall heath.
Brain foods boost your levels of focus and concentration. You might be surprised by the large role food plays on your overall mood and functionality. Creative thoughts and ideas might suddenly ignite--simply from feeding your brain its essential nutrients.
Some of the most notable brain foods, according to A Life of Productivity, include:
- Leafy greens
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
- Flax seeds
- Green tea
Sadly, doughnuts and muffins didn't quite make the cut... (but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every now and then.)
Prioritize your tasks
Don’t you just love it when you thought you knew exactly how your day would play out and by the first hour in the office, things have taken a completely different direction? Prioritizing what’s important each day before you sit down at the desk can really make a difference.
Create "to do" lists — as many as you need. Set a general list at the beginning of each week and a more concise list at the start of each day. Things may not always go exactly as planned, (you might receive multiple urgent calls and need to take those,) but your list will be there to remind you of exactly where to pick back up, so you can get back on track faster.
When you make your "to do" list, be honest with yourself about your work ethic. If you know that you have a greater propensity to concentrate in the morning then start with your big tasks from the get go. Planning to tackle the tougher tasks when your energy levels are highest can allow you to debrief at the end of the day knowing that you were as productive as possible. Not only can these lists help you stay more productive, but they can significantly decrease your stress levels as well.
Get Regular Exercise
Daily exercise is not only good for your health, but it greatly increases your work productivity. Even if you are a late-night or post-work exerciser, aim to squeeze a bit of activity into your morning as well. This will get blood flowing to your brain for the rest of the day.
Exercise is known to increase alertness and energy, which go hand-in-hand when it comes to productivity. Since exercise also increases your levels of serotonin, this can lead to a happier mood for the duration of your work day.
According to The American Council on Exercise , exercise produces a protein called BDNF (brain-deprived neurotropic factor,) and that protein is noted for boosting cognitive function. This is a fancy way of saying your problem-solving and mental abilities are at an all-time high.
Don’t panic, you don’t have to flip a switch and start all four of these tasks tomorrow. Even if you implement one of these tasks into your morning schedule, you might just discover how successful the rest of your day flows from that point on.
Whether you choose to add a cup of coffee for its amazing ability to lower your risk of certain diseases or to prioritize your tasks through lists for mental sanity, you may soon find a beloved new routine that sets your day up for increased success.
What are your favorite morning routines? Please share below!
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