Dr Marcus Ranney

Improving Energy, Productivity and Focus For 2023 | Dr. Marcus Ranney | CEO | Human Edge

Dr Marcus RanneyThe start of the year always brings about bursts of energy. We all aim and try to be more productive and focus on our job to get that promotion, to be the performer of the year, to get adulation from our colleagues and bosses. But the motivation and hope for the new year always dwindles leaving us in an energy slump, leaving us to hope for the next year that might give us the achievements we crave for.

So why not try to improve your focus, your productivity and your energy using these techniques that are easy to do and lasts throughout the year!

Tips To Improve Your Energy Levels

To improve our energy levels, we often go for the obvious solution – caffeine. But there are more ways to do that, which can have other added benefits to your health and wellbeing. Some of these are;

1. Light up your energy levels – Sunlight has many benefits for our health, especially our mental health. Being in the sun releases melatonin and serotonin. These help alleviate stress and can keep us calm and happy. Another important benefit of sunlight is Vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D is associated with fatigue and even symptoms of depression. The best time to soak up sunlight is in the morning (before 10 am) or after 3 pm, where the UV rays aren’t intense and you can get the maximum benefits.

2. Breath of Fire – Breathing techniques have become extremely popular for their positive effects on our spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing. One breathing technique that is guaranteed to help you get energized is breath of fire. In this you rapidly exhale for about 15 seconds. After 15 seconds return to your normal breathing and try again after sometime in case you need to. The aim of this is to increase energy levels but not overwhelm the body. These are fast and rapid in nature so don’t slow down. When you do this you automatically inhale air filling your body with oxygen and pumping your circulatory system. It also expands
your lung capacity and improves your alertness too. You can do this in the morning before starting your day as well.

3. Cleaning up – Our brains work better when we are focusing on one thing at a time, too many distractions around impacts our concentration and can have us feeling overwhelmed. Everytime you start to feel your desk becoming messy or you notice you have way too many tabs open, it’s time to cut the clutter. This will help energize you, help you focus and make you more productive.

Tips To Improve Your Productivity

We want to lead a productive life. It gives us validation, improves our self confidence and esteem, improves job aspects and makes us feel we have ‘done’ something. While there are some days where we don’t give the output we expected, there are a few things you can do to ensure these days aren’t often.

1. Avoid multitasking – While multitasking may seem like a normal part to getting more done it is related to lower productivity, impaired memory, increased distractibility, increased stress and harm to our brain. Our brain’s can concentrate for 10-52 minutes. In that span of time, our brain is using its energy and cognitive functions for multiple tasks that may require different emotional and cognitive processes. The reason mistakes occur or we have lowered productivity is due to this rapid shifting. Thus it is better to start one task and finish it before moving to the next.

2. Plan your day – It is important to plan your day that is effective and productive. You can start with the important calls or difficult projects. Once those are out of the way, you will feel positive, energized and less stressed out. It is also important to break down these tasks and time them so that you can motivate yourself further to complete them.

Post lunch we all feel a little low on energy, during this time you can handle the easier tasks and finish them off. Reserve the end of your day to check the work you have completed, what all is left and what all additions have been made. This can help you prepare for the next day as well.

Tips To Improve Your Focus

Another thing important to improve productivity is by improving your focus. The range of our focus however shifts depending on many factors like, distractions present, kind of work we are doing, our physical and mental health, energy levels and so on. There are some things however that you can do to improve focus no matter what work you’re doing or what you are surrounded by;

1. Goal setting – setting goals can help you understand your work level, improve motivation and allow you to focus on the tasks you set for yourself. Goal setting also is a good way to set actionable behavior into motion and when we start completing our goals it converts into a state of flow (where you are fully immersed in doing the task at hand).

2. Take short breaks – Humans ability to focus can last for a maximum of 90 minutes. It is important to give our brain the necessary rest in between work to get energized. You can go for a short walk, listen to music, watch a funny video – anything that can provide you with a healthy distraction. There have been studies that show that when you shift your attention to something else or you zone out/daydream, it can lead to a breakthrough of ideas and solutions (also known as aha! moment).

3. Remove distractions – This is the most difficult to do. We are surrounded by technology and dependent on it. But when you are focusing on a task and entering into a state of flow, a ping from the phone or computer can throw us off balance. It is important to then structure your day in such a way that in between
meetings or calls you have enough time to work on the other things that require your attention and keep those techno free. Keep your desk organized and the tabs on your laptop/desktop related to the work you are doing and nothing extra.

Productivity, focus and energy are interrelated.

With more energy you are more productive and focused.

When you are focused you are more energized and productive.

And being more productive can make you feel energized and more focused.

So start the new year and your day being more energized, productive and focused.