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3 Ways To Improve Your Productivity

Never underestimate the value of rest and a great morning routine!

By Heike Fallon

Needle illustration in primary colors showing tasks that move one forward and those that can be outsourced

Do you feel that the past seven months have been challenging and frustrating? Has your productivity declined? Do you feel like you are spinning in circles and not really getting things done? If so, know that you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to change.

Here are three scientifically proven ways to increase your productivity:

1. Sleep

There is no magic number or ideal amount of sleep to get each night that can apply broadly to all human beings. The optimal amount of sleep should be individualized, as it depends on many factors. However, it is fair to say that the optimal amount of sleep for most adults is between 7 and 9 hours.

Sleep plays a vital role in brain function and recovery. Short-term consequences of sleep disruption include increased stress response; somatic pain; reduced quality of life; emotional distress; mood disorders; and deficits in cognition, memory, and performance. Long-term consequences of sleep disruption in otherwise healthy individuals include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cancer.⁺

A good night’s sleep—quality and quality—is the foundation for a productive next day.

2. Morning Routine

Do you have a great morning routine? If you do not, and you are unhappy with your productivity, then implementing a solid routine is a good start.

A great morning routine changed my life. The emphasis here is on “great.” Everyone has a routine in the morning, but scrolling through social media and answering email first thing upon waking may negatively impact the productivity of your whole day.

A great morning routine needs to be individualized, but I highly recommend including:

  • Movement and/or meditation

  • Intention-setting

  • Separating your tasks into your Needle Movers (the things that move your life/business forward) and your to-do list

  • Planning the day (including your needle movers, to-do-list items, workout, “me time,” and time to connect with loved ones)

3. Reset/Breaks

Take active breaks every 50 to 60 minutes. Get away from all screens, move around, and perform breathing drills, energizing drills, or meditation to get your brain and body ready for your next block of productivity. Your brain needs these breaks. Breaks will help you with your physical and emotional health and with “decision fatigue,” and they will restore your motivation. They will help you with your productivity, creativity, and learning.

Start implementing these three ideas into your life, and you will be amazed how your productivity reaches a heightened level.

⁺Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, M. E. (2017). “Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption.” Nature and Science of Sleep, 9, 151–161.

Heike Fallon is a Neuro Sports Therapist and Certified High Performance Coach living in El Segundo. Find her online at and on Facebook/Instagram at @xpandhealth.

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