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3 Simple Ways to Boost Productivity

Posted by Joel Marion on June 10, 2009

In yesterday’s post we discussed the counterproductivity of using coffee as a focus or productivity aid during times in which our bodies really just need to “unplug”.

We also mentioned yesterday that every so often (perhaps once every hour or two) throughout the work day we experience a lack in focus and concentration. This is our body’s natural way of telling us “hey, take a break and recharge”.

So what do you do to “recharge”? Grab a cup of coffee? Hopefully by now you see that going that route is essentially the exact opposite of what your body needs.

If you really want to increase productivity, especially during times where mental concentration seems to be lacking, try using some of the strategies I provide below instead of refiring your nervous system (you’ll see that these tactics actually strive to achieve the opposite).

1. Controlled breathing – I actually did a post on breathing exercises a little while back where I went over something called the 4-7-8 technique. Many of you probably missed that, however, so I’ll include it again here.

To start, exhale completely through your mouth, then:

  • Breathe in through your nose over a period of 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale completely through your mouth over a period of 8 seconds

Repeat the above three steps three more times for a total of four breaths.

You’ll be amazed at how this extremely simple breathing technique will skyrocket your mental clarity when you put it into practice. In fact, try it now – I guarantee you’ll feel an immediate difference.

2. Aromatherapy – The sense of smell is one of our strongest senses with many different scents and aromas proving to promote a large range of “experiences” from relaxation, to sensuality, to increased energy and clarity.

When I’m working at home (which is rare), I generally do breathing exercises with a few candles going in the background. Just brings a whole new element to the experience.

To rejuvenate and revitalize, look for aromatherapy candles and/or essential oils containing rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus, spearmint and/or peppermint.

3. Meditation – Trust me, I’m definitely NOT all “new age” and when I say “meditation” I’m NOT talking about sitting cross-legged, palms up, chanting “ummmmmmm” over and over.

Meditation doesn’t have to be that stereotypical.

Meditation simply is “a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, ‘thinking’ mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.” (straight from Wikipedia, baby)

Simply relaxing while using controlled breathing is a form of meditation. But there are ways to take meditation even deeper, for ultimate relaxation and subsequent productivity.

In fact, about six months ago a business friend of mine introduced me to something that I use daily while meditating (again, not the stereotypical meditation; these sessions only last 10 minutes) and at other times day—and I can tell you that this ONE single thing has easily been responsible for tripling my productivity each and every day since then.

Do you want to know what it is?

At least 75 comments and I’ll be back on Friday to reveal it in detail.

Seriously, tripled productivity.

While you’re at it, give the 4-7-8 technique a try right now and let me know how you feel after 4 breaths!

Talk to you in the comments section!



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