Other days, you start out full of pep and wind down as the day progresses. That’s not surprising according to an article by Travis Bradberry in TheLadders.com. He notes researchers from the University of Nottingham found self-control and energy are linked.“Even though we don’t always realize it, as the day goes on, we have increased difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our work,” he wrote.
From skipping breakfast to a burger and fries lunch then grabbing some takeout on the way home, one or all of these can ruin your productivity level. It’s never been truer – you are what you eat.
The good part is you can flip this. You can make easy – really easy – changes to turn this destructive pattern around. You might have thought being more productive was about maximizing your calendar, multi-tasking, staying goal oriented and being organized. You also might be right but it isn’t just about that.
It’s all about you.
Your productivity depends on how you take care of you.
Don’t Ditch Breakfast
Why do you skip or skimp on breakfast? Those extra few minutes of sleep are totally wasted if you don’t power up to power through your day.
People love to compare fueling your body with fueling your car. That comparison just doesn’t work according to Harvard Business Review’s “What You Eat Affects Your Productivity.” After all, it doesn’t matter what time of day you fuel your car nor do you change the nutritional value each time you open your gas cap.
Looking over healthy breakfast advice, page after page tout the following:
- Chia Seeds
- Nuts/Nut Butter
- Greek Yogurt
- Coffee or Green Tea
- Protein Shake
- Chia Seeds
- Cottage Cheese
This isn’t a list with limits. Rather, it is a starting point. Scramble some eggs with avocado, a healthy fat. Spread whole grain bread with nut butter and sprinkle it with fresh berries. In the summer, make some super easy refrigerator oatmeal, perfect for hot summer days.
Like Your Lunch
The Harvard Review article also points out unhealthy cheap and fast lunch options are alluring in the middle of a busy workday. “They feel efficient. This is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day,” the article reports.
Lunch gets tricky. It can get expensive to eat out. It seems time consuming to pack your lunch. In part, if you want to increase your productivity, you have to consider lunch a part of your workday you need to master. Like breakfast, you really do need fuel to power through the rest of the day and be your best while you are doing it.
You aren’t alone if you munch at your desk. There’s something to be said about taking a break but if you prefer to dine at the desk, you are joining some 62 percent of folks who say they do too, according to the New York Times.
Focus on the basics- protein, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Throw in some healthy fat and you’ve got a lunch to help you work. If you eat a healthy dinner, you are on the road to a healthy lunch. Double or triple recipes and bring the leftovers for lunch. A baked sweet potato, grilled chicken and broccoli from last night makes a great lunch.
Preschools often send parents a must-have lunch packing list for their little ones. They know behavior is influenced by nutrition. The same applies to you. Schools often require a protein, a grain, two servings of fruit or vegetables and dairy. It makes an easy reminder as you pack your own lunch. Turkey on whole grain bread, baby carrots to munch on, an apple and a container of yogurt fulfill the list. So easy! There is no excuse not to have a lunch to keep you productive.
The same applies to eating out. Choose a restaurant meal of a protein, a grain, fruits and vegetable. A couple of tacos and a side salad, a veggie burger and a container of slaw or a salad topped with protein. Be wary of restaurant portions. Don’t eat more than you would if you’d packed your own lunch. Get dressing on the side and take half of the salad for your lunch tomorrow. Watch out for those unhealthy fat sides- the fries, onion rings, heavy salad dressing and heaps of refried beans and rice. You can get a healthy lunch out by saving those items for an occasional treat.
No one rings a dinner bell anymore but alarms probably go off in your head when you are starving. Fortunately there are more choices for figuring out how to get dinner on the table than ever before. The one rule of thumb is to plan ahead. It’s the last minute decisions that end up being nutritionally poor and probably weight packing.
Let us know if you need assistance with meal planning. We are here to help. Feel free to schedule your complimentary session below.