4 Powerful Ways to Double Your Productivity (Without Coffee)

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For decades now, we have depended on the caffeine from coffee to keep us alert and productive.

While coffee can be beneficial, it also has its downsides, as we wrote in Ryan’s blog. In fact, coffee is not a necessary component for us to increase our productivity if we have the right strategies in place.

By leveraging the resources we have in our lives, planning our day strategically, and some mindful practices, we can get more done in less time without depending on coffee.

Here are the 4 powerful ways to double your productivity.

1. Practice the art of not thinking

The skill of not thinking is one that is easier said than done.

Our brains are wired to constantly be thinking, that it feels strange to simply shutting of our thoughts. In fact, the average individual has over60,000 thoughts a day!

This is where meditation comes in.

For decades now, meditating has been the go to practice for stress relief.
The endless benefits of meditation includes: increased attention span,improving brain function, better quality of sleep, and more.

Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting cross-legged in a pitch black room with your eyes closed (although it could). Depending on your personality, meditation could mean a mantra you say to yourself, a relaxing breakfast where you savor each bite, or it could even mean taking a nice, long hike. Here are the several unique ways to meditate, depending on your personality.

2. Priming

Priming is another powerful method that can help you feel more energy by changing your physical state, boost brain power, and preparing your mind to increase productivity in the morning.
If forcing yourself not to think seems impossible, then priming may be for you.

Here is the method that Tony Robbins advocates:

The first thing you should do is change your physical state. This could mean hopping into a cold shower, doing a few jumping jacks, or deep breathing for 30 seconds. If you want to learn the full method of breathing that Tony preaches, click here to listen.

From there, you:

#1. Sit up on your bed or chair and close your eyes.

#2. Think of three things that you’re grateful for, spending one minute thinking of each (3 minutes)

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Who do you love?
  • Who loves you?
  • What is the wealth you have currently in your life — technology? choices? friends? books? ideas? opportunities?
  • What’s right in your life?
  • What’s beautiful?
  • What’s magical?

#3. Think of three things that you envision yourself creating in your life. Focus on the future, but state it as if you have already achieved it.

It could be:

  • “I’m a successful entrepreneur, living life the way I want, with my own rules.”
  • “I have the deepest, most loving relationship with my partner.”
  • “I can speak fluent Spanish and able to connect with anyone as I travel.”

3. Take strategic breaks

Sleep deprivation is a big deal, and even a norm in our society.

A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. When we’re working at high intensity for more than 90 minutes, we begin to rely on stress hormones — adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol — to keep us going.  In the process, we move from parasympathetic to a sympathetic arousal — a physiological state more commonly known as “fight or flight.”

This doesn’t have to mean sleeping 10 hours a day, instead of your normal 8.
By taking strategic naps during the day, you can revitalize your mind and give your brain the rest it needs to increase productivity.

When night shift air traffic controllers were given 40 minutes to nap — and slept an average of 19 minutes — they performed higher on tests that measured vigilance and reaction time.

Longer naps have an even more profound impact than shorter ones. Sara C. Mednick, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Riverside, found that a 60 to 90-minute nap improved memory test results as fully as did eight hours of sleep.

In addition to strategic naps, a tactic that is shared by Buffer is called the Pomodoro Technique.