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Impulsively surfing the internet

It takes you 15 consecutive minutes of focus before you can fully engage in a task. Once you do, you fall into flow, a state of increased productivity.

Click in and out of your work enough times to check the news of social media, and you can go through an entire day without experiencing flow.

@rafjj355

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Bad habits

Nothing sabotages your productivity quite like bad habits.

They slow you down, decrease your accuracy, make you less creative, and stifle your performance.

We freeze up when it’s time to get started because we know that our ideas aren’t perfect and what we produce might not be any good.

But you can never produce something great if you don't get started and give your ideas time to evolve.

Meetings

Ultra-productive people avoid meetings as much as humanly possible. 

A meeting could drag on forever, so when you must attend a meeting, inform everyone that you want to stick to the intended schedule. This sets a clear limit that motivates everyone to be more focused and efficient.

Don't allow e-mail to be a constant interruption:

  • Check your e-mail on a schedule (set specific time slots in a day for that).
  • Prioritize messages by senders.
  • Set up an autoresponder that lets senders know when you’ll be checking their e-mail again.
Hitting the snooze button

No matter how tired you think you are when your alarm clock goes off, force yourself out of bed if you want to have a productive morning.

When you hit the snooze button and fall back asleep, you lose the alertness you'd get by respecting your sleep cycles and end up waking up later, tired and groggy. 

People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. 

When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Putting off tough tasks

When you put off tough tasks till late in the day because they’re intimidating, you save them for when you’re at your worst. 

Because that's when we drain our limited energy and decision fatigue creeps in.

By the evening, your brain doesn’t expect any blue light exposure and is very sensitive to it. And most of our favorite evening devices emit short-wavelength blue light.

This exposure impairs melatonin production and interferes with your ability to fall asleep as well as with the quality of your sleep.

Eating too much sugar

Donuts, soda, and other forms of refined sugar lead to an energy boost that lasts a mere 20 minutes, while oatmeal, brown rice, and other foods containing complex carbohydrates release their energy slowly, which enables you to sustain your focus.

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Meditation and Stillness

If you start your day with meditation, it’s important to do seated meditation and not do so lying down in your bed, or you’ll be likely to fall back asleep. This routine will help because:

  • it leaves you calm and focused for the day;
  • allows your mind to wake up without strain.

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IDEAS

Dress for No Stress

Plan and lay out tomorrow’s clothing ensemble tonight, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

If your first outfit of the day is gym clothes for a morning workout, even better.

Nighttime snacks help you sleep

If you need a bedtime snack, try:

  • Half of a turkey sandwich
  • A small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal
  • Milk or yogurt
  • A banana