4 'Unproductive' Habits That Make You More Productive
The key to having more energy and creativity comes from doing less.
2020 brought new challenges to the way entrepreneurs attract customers, utilize technology and outperform their competition.
Many business leaders have been pushing themselves to the limit to adapt to these changes. Unfortunately, using that approach is exhausting for the mind and body, and counterproductive in finding the most innovative ideas.
If you’re looking for ways to be more productive, try these four “unproductive” habits to improve your energy and creativity, and help you take your business to the next level.
1. Sleep in more
How long should you sleep? The actual amount of time depends on your body’s needs, but your goal is to wake up feeling refreshed. While you’re sleeping, your body is doing the essential maintenance required. Your cells are repairing, your brain is processing information and your sympathetic nervous system is relaxing.
When you shortchange your sleep, you shortchange yourself. If you enjoy waking up early, try adjusting your schedule to go to bed earlier. If you want to stay up late, start allowing yourself to sleep in.
2. Take lots of breaks
It’s easy to forget about what’s best for your brain when you’re battling a deadline. You might think pushing through is what you need to do, but a 2011 University of Illinois study found focusing too long on a task actually decreases productivity.
Doing something as simple as taking a quick walk can increase your creativity and energy. There are several different methods and techniques you can choose to follow. The Pomodoro technique has individuals taking breaks starting every 25 minutes, but other methods could have you working for a full 90 minutes. The key is to find what works best for you.
Give yourself enough time to engage in an activity that gives your body and mind what it needs. One break could consist of stretching, while another break could be eating a healthy snack or taking a power nap.
Children tend to laugh numerous times throughout the day, yet the average adult laughs significantly less. While being an adult may bring on added responsibilities and stress, it’s important to find ways each day to do things that make you laugh and bring you joy.
Several years ago, the World Health Organization named “stress” as the “The Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”. Since then, the pandemic has increased the amount of stress individuals are feeling at work and home.
One way to help combat stress is through laughter. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins that reduce stress and improve your mood. Studies have also shown that laughing can help reduce blood pressure.
Each day, try to seek out ways to laugh more. It only takes a few minutes to watch a quick video or chat with a funny friend, and you’ll start to feel the benefits immediately.
4. Do nothing
Is your calendar filled with meetings, projects and endless things to do? Constantly multi-tasking and having a packed schedule can make you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s important to take time to get quiet each day.
Meditation can be an effective way to rest your mind, while increasing your creativity and focus. It can also help lower your stress and reduce negative emotions.
Meditation may seem intimidating or even difficult because your thoughts tend to wander, but there are many great apps out there that can help you with the process. Also, it might be helpful to start with only a couple minutes at a time and then increase the amount as you get more used to doing it.
If you’ve been under the pressure of constantly trying to do more, let me encourage you to try doing less. The key to finding the ideas your business needs could be as simple as taking the time to take care of yourself.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer