The Shockingly Simple Habit For Increased Productivity

Napping for increased productivity

Tired minds don’t plan well. Sleep first, plan later.

Walter Reisch

Do you ever feel like you live in the world of endless to-do lists and unmet expectations? Have you wondered why working harder hasn’t resulted in increased productivity?

The answer is the law of diminishing returns. Our bodies have physical limitations. And, burning the candle at both ends not only impacts our health but also makes us poor performers.

But, we live in a hustle culture. Working all the time has become the new norm. We’re constantly reminded that we have to choose between our goals and quality of life. Even if this secretly sabotages our success. And if Elon Musk became a billionaire by sleeping at the Tesla factory, who are we to argue?

The Missing Piece

So, how do we combat the stress and exhaustion of our overworked lives? The key to reinvigorating ourselves for increased productivity is – napping.

Yes, you read that right.

Our old childhood habit has more benefits than we gave it credit for. Even if many of us have shunned it in favor of energy drinks and caramel macchiatos. Studies show that napping improves alertness and memory recall better than caffeine. It can even make us better problem solvers to work through those to-do lists faster.

5 Minutes To Increased Productivity

Unfortunately, many employers still look down on napping in the workplace. And, many offices are not set up to accommodate falling asleep during the workday. Luckily, you don’t need to fall asleep to enjoy the benefits of a midday rest. You only need 5 minutes to try one of the following faux nap ideas.

1. Close your eyes

More than half of our brain capacity is used to process visual information from our eyes. By closing your eyes, you can free up that energy and allow your brain to recover. You can also put on headphones with soothing music to block out the noise around you. Let your mind come to stillness and stay there for a few minutes before reopening your eyes.

2. Daydream

As kids, we’re often scolded for spacing out in class and melting into the world outside the window. Yet, neuroscience has observed that daydreaming unlocks our creativity. Allowing our thoughts to flow freely opens up new pathways in our brains. You can gaze at a calming picture for five minutes and allow your mind to wander. Note down any interesting thoughts that come up.

3. Practice mindful breathing

Our brains are responsible for 20% of oxygen consumption in the body. A steady supply of oxygen results in mental sharpness and increased productivity. Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and breathe out for a count of 8. You can do this for two to five minutes.

Try these techniques the next time you’re feeling sluggish during your day. We don’t always have control over the pressure and stress in our lives. But, all you need is five minutes to break out of your slump and feel increased productivity. Doing so will help you see that we don’t need to trade our well-being for success. We’re at our best when we use our well-being to propel our success.

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