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How to Stay Productive All Day Long

Are you a morning person or an afternoon super star? Is there any part of the day where you’re more productive or are there days when you drag your feet from start to end? Naturally, every IT contractor’s goal is to maximize productivity to get the most amount of work done in the least amount of time. This is how you get more tech gigs, serve more clients, build your IT consulting business and justify a higher rate!

There is no doubt that starting your day properly will drive your performance. In fact, a recent article from FastCompany spoke to a brain scientist who claims what you do in the morning will make or break your brain’s performance. They provide six different habits you should do every day between the minute you wake up and your lunch break:

  1. Prioritize getting 8 hours of sleep
    9 hours is too much but 7-8 hours of sleep will regulate your appetite, mood, alertness and overall resilience.
  2. Hydrate first thing, and don’t mask it with caffeine
    When you wake up tired, you’re probably dehydrated and caffeine just takes more water from your body.
  3. Stretch
    A few minutes of yoga can enhance blood flow and redistribute nutrients.
  4. Meditate for 12 minutes
    This will improve your focus and executive function, as well as decrease rumination.
  5. Eat the same breakfast at the same time
    In addition to sustained energy, regulate your circadian rhythm and digestion to get peak performance out of your brain.
  6. Start your day with the most difficult tasks
    Your brain functions best early in the day so take advantage of those crucial hours.

Already a morning person and practicing these routines? That’s great! But how’s your performance after lunch? The afternoon slump is common and Inc. has some solutions to help you get past it:

  1. Get a 20 minute walk in
    Get your blood flowing and your brain working to create positive emotions and solve problems with more creativity.
  2. Review your mission and objectives before starting back working
    Regain the motivation you had before lunch by reviewing your objectives and creating some urgency.
  3. Ruthlessly guard your environment
    Create the right energy with a clean and organized desk, including items that calm and motivate you (ex. Family pictures).

Are you slow to start in the morning or do you tend to drop-off in the afternoons? If so, which one of these tips do you plan to implement today? If you’re already super productive, what tips can you add?

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