When working on a time-sensitive project or a life-changing idea, it’s easy to sit glued to your laptop for hours on end, or run yourself senseless trying to meet deadlines. You’re working hard all for a cause, but are you really working as hard as you think you are?

Our top three to boost up your productivity?

Take a walk.
While you may be mentally immersed in a task, lack of physical activity decreases memory retention and cognitive functions. Science and history have both shown us how important movement are, even standing up for two minutes triggers our muscles and cells to process sugars and cholesterol. With our bodies directly linked between physical and mental activity, while our ideas may be on a roll, your body could be running on steam.

Look up, preferably at a plant.
When I asked what the worst could come from staring at my computer for hours on end while meeting the never-ending string of deadlines, my doctor struck immediate fear with the little phrase “multifactorial disease.” While I wanted to swear off technology and run off to a cabin in the woods, I figured I’d start with looking around more often to make sure that I’m giving my eyes more chances to rest throughout the day, let alone remember to blink. Screen users tend to blink only a third as much as biologically necessary to help withstand intense use. Plants, the oxygen-rich desk accessory that look good in any setting, both provide mental relief and allow your brain to connect with the patterns that most greenery tend to have. For those who aren’t buying it, talk to folks like NASA who have found that productivity has increased 15% through stress reduction, emotional boosting, and greater concentration.

Say hello.
Meet someone new and skip the small talk. Shaking someone’s hand is all it takes to release oxytocin; known as the “bonding hormone,” this chemical helps establish trust and a sense of connection between individuals. And let’s get real, no one really wants to talk about the weather; active listening helps increase understanding, empathy, and cognitive functioning through the brain’s focus on processing and providing feedback.

 

For more on productivity, peek at some of our inspiration:
+On mental and physical health connection.
+On how our bodies function with movement.
+HuffPost on eye strain.
+NBC News & NASA on plants and productivity.

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