For so many around the world, 2021 has been an extremely stressful year, and 2022 represents an opportunity to begin a new chapter and focus on achieving the goals they’ve had to put off. A global pandemic and its aftermath have put many entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and business owners in a holding pattern as they try to adapt to the new normal that may well come to define 2022.
Part of this process of adaptation is learning about the most effective ways to boost productivity and limit distractions in the new year. That’s not as easy a task as it may seem, given just how distracting the 24 hour news cycle is today. It can seem that every day a new story breaks that demands attention, and that can put a serious dent in anyone’s productivity.
2022 should be a year of opportunity and rebuilding after the chaos of 2020. However, in order to make that a reality we all have to find strategies to boost our daily output. So, let’s explore five ways we can boost productivity in 2022.
1. Get Quality Sleep
While it’s often assumed that productive people don’t have time to waste sleeping, nothing could be further from the truth. Sleep might take up time that could otherwise be spent working, but it also facilitates higher quality work sessions that can dramatically increase productivity. Several studies, including one that looked at 4,188 US workers found significantly diminished performance outcomes resulted for groups that slept less.
Sleep improves workers’ ability to make split second decisions, as well as their ability to focus on problem-solving tasks for an extended period of time. The difference between workers who do get enough sleep and those who don’t is so profound that getting quality sleep could be correlated with a higher salary.
There is also evidence to suggest that incorporating naps into your daily routine could quite dramatically increase your productivity. Coffee naps, in which workers nap directly after drinking a cup of coffee before the caffeine hits their bloodstream and waking up when it does, can be particularly effective.
2. Limit Your Information Intake
It can take a lot of discipline to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand at work, but doing so can pay dividends. With so many sources of information, it can be extremely tempting to have eight or nine tabs open, listen to a podcast, and simultaneously work through your to-do list. However, for most people, closing those tabs and focusing on one thing at a time will do a lot to improve productive output.
That’s not to say that browsing the web or listening to your favorite podcast doesn’t have its place. In fact, there is good reason to believe why consciously incorporating downtime or daydreaming could play a part in the problem-solving process. However, it’s important to be deliberate when doing so, and block out distractions when your aim is to get into a focused, systematic mindset.
Modern technology can be both a powerful tool for productivity as well as a debilitating distraction. Do your best to ensure that you use it to boost your productivity, not detract from it.
3. Get Regular Exercise
Mounting evidence suggests that an exercise routine can boost productivity in the workplace. This piece by the Washington Post explains how exercise can improve higher level thinking skills. That’s because when you exercise your body, you are also exercising your brain.
The effects of exercise are so powerful that some research suggests that even a single workout could dramatically improve performance in the workplace. Exercise also has a profound effect on your mood, releasing multiple endorphins in the brain and activating the body’s natural reward systems.
Particularly for workers that find themselves restless or anxious, an intense workout can be the perfect form of catharsis that vents some of those feelings and induces a state of relaxed concentration.
4. Consider Taking CBD
CBD, or Cannabidiol oil, has been shown in a variety of research studies to have an anxiety-reducing effect on users. Moreover, since CBD lacks meaningful quantities of THC, it won’t have the effect of getting a user high. That means it’s possible to experience all of its relaxing effects without having to worry about a distracting high.
Mounting evidence also suggests that CBD could be effective in relieving anxiety-induced insomnia, according to Kyro. As a result, CBD consumption can create a virtuous cycle in many users in which a reduction in anxiety has a multitude of correlated benefits.
CBD can be taken in many different forms, with many users choosing to consume it orally. The substance can be consumed via a CBD tincture, which has the most potent effect. Tinctures are created by mixing CBD with an alcohol and water solution to enhance its effect on the body.
Moreover, tinctures typically take less than an hour to impart a sense of relaxation and calm, according to Daily CBD Mag. CBD can also be consumed through an edible CBD product, in which case its effects will take several hours to take hold. CBD topical products are also becoming more popular, as well as CBD-infused beverages.
5. Adopt a Daily Meditation Practice and Induce Flow States
There is a great number of studies that indicate that particular forms of meditation can play a powerful role in boosting productivity. Mindfulness meditation is among the most well-studied forms of meditation, and many companies have introduced it to their employees because of its effects on productivity. It consists primarily of calmly observing one’s thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations for a set period of time to develop a sense of detachment and equanimity.
For those that are brand new to meditation, guided meditation offered by a variety of different meditation apps such as Waking Up, Calm, and Headspace can be a great alternative to mindfulness meditation.
Moreover, yoga and meditation could play a role in promoting flow states. A flow state is a state of complete mental absorption in which individuals experience a sense of losing themselves in the activity that they are engaged in. Originally researched by a Hungarian psychologist, flow states have since come to be regarded as crucial for boosting productivity in the business world, as well as increasing workers’ satisfaction.
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