How to Increase Productivity: Stop Working, Go to the Gym

Brain Exercise
Exercise your body to exercise your brain.

How to Increase Productivity

I know some of you out there work 60, 70, 80 hour weeks. I know some of you also work 14,16,18 hour days. Hell, I’ve put in 36 hours straight writing computer code day and night to meet a deadline before. We all do it: we work too much!

Experts are finding out now that the best way to increase productivity, is to work less. That’s right, people who work 35-40 hours a week get the most out of their time. After the first 40 hours efficiency, speed, and quality all begin to deteriorate.

Companies that limit their employees’ working hours to 35 a week, typically have to employ less Quality Assurance (QA) testers, because their employees make far fewer mistakes. That is a multi-directional savings plan – save your employees health and save money by getting rid of half your QA staff (or just don’t hire them to begin with).


Multi-Tasking

This just in: multi-tasking does not work!

  • It is not safe to text, eat, put on your make-up, or read the newspaper, and drive.
  • You are less productive when distracted by incoming emails every 5 minutes.
  • Ironing and cooking at the same time could get you or your salad burned.

Despite the theories that the human brain is an untapped resource working at a fraction of its potential, today’s reality is that our brains can only handle so much. Sure, there are geniuses and idiot savants who are capable of amazing things, but on average the typical human brain can only handle a finite number of tasks at one time, can only process so much data or solve so many problems over the course of a day.

How to Improve Cognitive Performance

The only real way to improve cognitive performance is not through memory games or CDs that you listen to while you’re asleep.

Experts agree that the only real way to improve brain function, is to exercise. Yes, exercise!

Some studies are done with elderly people who walk for 45 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and end up preserving their brain longer than a control group who does not exercise. [3] If elderly people can do it by walking, imagine what us whippersnappers can do by integrating 3 high intensity cardio sessions a week into our routine?

John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of A User’s Guide to the Brain said:

“I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or a little Ritalin at just the right moment. Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.”

The explanation for this effect is that exercise affects the nervous system in several ways, stimulating the release of serotonin and dopamine, which are pleasure chemicals that make us feel happy, calm, and even euphoric.

When you are feeling depressed, slow, tired, angry, or dumb; and you don’t want to wait for those good feelings to come by accident (and you don’t have or want to take happy pills), you can induce them through exercise.

“When one exercises you can think more clearly, perform better, and your morale is better. This is pure science. Stimulate your nervous system and function at a higher level.”

Says Christin Anderson, MS, wellness and fitness coordinator of the University of San Francisco.

Putting it into Practice

So, that’s it – the verdict is in. If you want to be more productive at work or with your own business follow these tips:

  • stop working so much
  • get your ass to the gym
  • use high intensity cardio (HIC, is that a new acronym?) such as HIIT, HIRT, or Tabata; 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes a session
  • optionally mix in aerobic endurance cardio such as:
    • walking, hiking
    • jogging, running
    • outdoor cycling
    • rowing, canoeing
    • tennis
    • racquetball
    • basketball
  • I also highly recommend you use resistance training and stretching to keep your body strong, fit, quick, flexible, and healthy.

The perfect workout routine for any man looking to stay strong and trim, is the Project Swole full body fat loss routine for men.

Similarly, the Project Swole full body fat loss routine for women is a great life-long routine for the females.

I don’t usually give a rats behind if Project Swole readers read my resource articles, but I highly recommend every read the top resource posted below. It is 3 pages of good, fun info, and helps to prove my point.


Resources:

  1. Train Your Brain With Exercise
  2. How to Be Productive: Stop Working
  3. Fit Body, Fit Mind?

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