5 Easy and Simple Ways to Stay Productive During Lockdown.

Ashwagandha and its benefits

Did you start the year 2021 feeling lost and without direction? Has your thirst for personal development already fizzled out? Has the list of failed resolutions continued to pile up? Well you are not alone according to a study done by YouGov only 12% of the population follow through with their resolutions. Here are some ways to stay consistent and productive during the impending lockdown:

1. Gratitude Journaling 

Ashwagandha is one of the most talked about herbs in Ayurvedic medicine! Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic which means that it adapts to your body’s needs to create a stable environment and support overall health. It is one of the most used herbs as history traces this herb back 3,000 years ago and was originally used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known by its botanical name of Withania somnifera but can also be known as Indian ginseng. 

Botanical Hero 

Self-improvement and productivity does not mean that you should be ungrateful for your current state of being sometimes . Being unappreciative of what you have can lead to toxic thoughts when goals are not met. A simple activity such as writing 10 things that you are grateful for before going to bed can have a significant impact on your mental health thus leading to the increase of productivity levels.

A study done (1) by Işık, Ş., & Ergüner-Tekinalp (2017) compared test scores of people that practiced gratitude journaling to those who did not. People who have partaken in gratitude journaling not only had higher test scores but also showed to have adjusted to university life and overall life satisfaction.

2. Setting Goals 

“Begin with the end in mind” as written by Stephen Covey in his book ‘7 Habits of highly effective people.’ Possessing the ‘end in mind’ mentality’ is a constant reminder why we do what we do, and prevents us from being lost from the abyss of opportunities and temptations that the world has to offer. 

Back in 2017, Epton, Currie and Armitage evaluated the optimal effectiveness of goal setting through meta-analyses. 141 papers were examined, the results show that goal setting is in fact an effective way of maximising behavioural change. 

3. To-do-lists  

Habits and objectives of the needs to be tracked and what better way than with the old reliable to-do-lists. Creating a to-do-list helps you organise tasks that need to be accomplished in the short-term (daily). 

Although to-do-lists are great productivity trackers it is important to not overload your to-do-lists instead prioritise the three most important things that you absolutely need to be finished before the day is over label it as essential, and everything else as ‘desired’. 

4. Exercise 

A healthy body results in having a healthy mind. Exercise does not mean lifting tons of weights and running a marathon, it could be as simple as having a walk in the park. We sometimes spend days on end in our desks than immediately after that laying in bed. 

A multi-level analyses conducted by Brown and Colleagues (2012) showed that people are “present” physically but mentally absent this phenomenon is called presenteeism and it is an ever so increasing issue through the workplace in the western world. The study concluded employees that did physical exercise did have a positive effect on one’s emotional and psychological well being.

5. Nutrition

Food is used as fuel throughout the day but as we get busier we become less weary of what we put in our bodies. Fast food is favoured instead of the healthier alternatives, and the data says it all. The UK spends 100 million pounds on takeaways and fast food every week.

Fast food and takeaways tend to be high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates which can affect the body but also our cognitive abilities. A study conducted by Francis and Richardson (2013) shows that diet that is high in saturated fats and refined carbs lead to neurodegenerative conditions.

Keeping track of your macronutrients is the way to go, making sure that you eat the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat daily. I highly suggest meal prepping because it saves you a lot of time and does not interrupt with your workflow. 

If you want to go an extra mile when it comes to increasing your productivity and avoiding burnouts, taking the right supplementation is the answer, meaning taking vitamins and minerals throughout the day (micronutrients). Manifestations of fatigue both physically and mentally tend to occur when there is an inadequate supplementation of micronutrients (Tardy, et al, 2019) 

Like food not all micronutrient supplementation are equal. Supplement companies would claim to have a lot of vitamins in one capsule but not have the right amount of doses in said capsule. It is important to focus on the quality of the supplementation that you are taking in as well in order to save time, money, and energy. 

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