Improve your productivity by 21%

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The secret ingredient you should add to your workflow right now!

Increasing productivity is the desire of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and bosses. Produce more in less time, be more efficient, and dedicate that “saved” time to other tasks. The correct management of time at work allows you to improve performance and achieve the desired objectives with less effort and more effective strategies.
 
Surely you already know the importance of keeping your workspace tidy, planning your tasks, setting priorities, deadlines and delivery dates, automating processes, turning off notifications, and avoiding distractions.
 
The biggest advantage of effective time management is the ability to create space for your well-deserved rest and self-care and, in short, to be happier. Did you know that happy employees can increase a company’s productivity by up to 31%? This is what a study from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom indicates.
 
Although productivity focuses on improving performance at work, its goals are not only to produce more results in less time. The truth is that it also aims to develop healthier work habits and rhythms of life as well as to achieve a satisfactory balance between leisure and work to generate greater well-being that, in turn, has an impact on better performance.
 
There are apps that you already know or even use, that help us manage our time much more efficiently. Asana, Monday, TodoIst, Notion, or ClickUp are some examples. “Save one day every week” is the slogan that prompted me to use ClickUp. That’s a 20% productivity boost and it was too juicy not to give it a try.
 
Now let me tell you a little secret that can increase your productivity by another 21%. And it is a habit that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.

I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.

Richard Branson
It´s proven that exercising for just ten minutes will improve your mood, energy, time management, span, accuracy, memory, and the way fast our brains process information. Over the past decade, several scientific studies have shown evidence, and corporations noticed the advantages exercise has on employee productivity. Giants like Google, Intel, Apple, Verizon, Facebook, ExxonMobil, Nike, Reebok, or Under Armour provide in-office gyms for their employees. 
 
Facebook’s CEO is a strong believer of the benefits of exercise in entrepreneurship. He once said: “Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you’re fit.”
 
More and more companies are allowing employees to exercise at work. Why?
 
Reduces absenteeism and stress, lowers healthcare costs, increases job satisfaction, and increases productivity. What is the most amazing?

Immediate Results

When we exercise to become more productive, it doesn´t take weeks or months to see results. You´ll feel the effects pretty much as soon as you exercise. A good workout will change how you feel emotionally, your energy level, and how you think, that very same day.
 
“A meta-analysis on the anxiety-reducing effects of acute and chronic exercise” published on Sports Med 11, has shown that exercise reduces anxiety right after being done. Work out at lunch and you’ll feel less anxious in the afternoon. Exercise also has same-day effects on cognition, making it easier to engage in executive functions like self-control, decision making, and handling conflict.
The evidence of the impact that exercise has on your productivity is piling up every day:
 
  • A Brandeis University study suggests that strength training benefits memory.
  • A University of Utah study shows that mixing aerobic exercise and resistance training exercise increases brain function.
  • A University of San Francisco study shows that practicing yoga increases energy levels, creativity, and the ability to problem-solve and cope with stress load.
  • Another study shows that yoga has a significant positive impact on job satisfaction, job involvement, goal orientation, affective organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior.
  • A Standford University study shows that when walking and after, creativity increases. With some participants up to 81%.
  • Another study in the UK showed that lunchtime walks improved enthusiasm, relaxation, and nervousness at work.

6 ways exercise makes you a productivity master

1. Focus. Briston University studied 200 employees at three organizations. The employees evaluated themselves on exercise and no- exercise days. On workout days, participants scored 21% higher for concentration, 22% higher for finishing their work on time, and 25% higher for working without unscheduled breaks.
2. Mood. Exercising releases endorphins which make you happier, serotonin helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle. When you are happier, you will view the work ahead through a better lens and you can be more productive.
3. Energy. Researchers from the University of Georgia split sedentary young adults with persistent fatigue into three groups: low-intensity, moderate-intensity exercise, and a control group (no exercise). Both exercise groups reported growing levels of energy compared to the control group.
4. Performance. A Leeds Metropolitan University study examined the influence of exercise among office workers with access to a company gym. On days when employees visited the gym, they reported managing their time more effectively, being more productive, and having smoother interactions with their colleagues.
5. Memory. A University of British Columbia study found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the brain areas involved in memory and learning.
Maryland scientists found that treadmill walking changed the working of portions of the brain involved in semantic memory. After exercise, parts of the brain became less active during semantic-memory tests, which is a desirable outcome. Less activity suggests that the brain had become more efficient at semantic-memory processing as a result of the exercise, requiring fewer resources to access the memories.
6. Creativity. Researchers from Leiden University found that exercising on a regular basis act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity. Researchers noted that regular exercise is associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, the two components of creative thinking.

Exercise is the best way to prepare for workdays when you need to be at your best

A tired, pain-ridden, and sleep-deprived body is a great recipe for killing your productivity as it leads to impaired memory, increased levels of stress hormones, and a significant decrease in your mental ability to focus. Thus, if getting stuff done is important to you, prioritize sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, and off-time to recharge your batteries.
For a workout focused on increasing your productivity, low to moderate exercise is key. Low-intensity exercise is better than intense exercise. You want to feel more energized, not fatigued. Try short, low-impact exercises that fit effortlessly into your day. You may find you’ve cracked one of the most reliable secrets to improving your productivity.
 
It may feel weird to jump into a downward-facing dog pose in the middle of the office. Don´t worry, instead try a short 5-minutes meditation between tasks.

Whatever productivity technique, exercise is a perfect match

Time blocking. You break your daily schedule into set, time-controlled units. For example, 30 minutes for email, and 60 minutes to work on a document. Then, according to proper energy management, you’ll need a 20-minute break to recharge. That´s plenty of time to stretch and a short meditation.
 
Task batching. Once you finish a group of similar tasks, and before you jump into the next group, take a break to take care of your body, clear your mind, and focus on what´s coming next.
 
Pomodoro. 5-min breaks are enough to do some exercise, stretching, or meditation, which will help you stay focused during work time.
 
Eat the Frog. After completing the most challenging task of the day, what´s best than a few sets to feel even more powerful and unstoppable?

Get the ClickUp Fitness Templates

ClickUp has boosted your productivity. But you can make it even better by including some exercise in your workflow with these simple templates.
 
I’ve been a certified personal trainer since 2002 and I know a little about creating exercise routines for freelancers and entrepreneurs. With the free time I’ve earned using ClickUp, I’ve been able to create these templates. And I would like to share them so that you can enjoy more free time to create what you want, feel healthier, and rock everything you do.
 
So, this is what I´ve created for you, 10 templates:
 
  • Breathe: Five 5-minutes meditations to calm your mind, de-stress, focus, and recharge your day.
  • Take a Walk: Guide to easily getting all the daily steps you need.
  • Rounded Shoulders: Easy and short routine to fix your posture and relieve your upper back and neck pain.
  • Low Back Pain: Gentle routine to ease and strengthen your lower back and core muscles.
  • Leg Workout: Customizable workout template.
  • Lats & Low Back Workout: Customizable workout template.
  • Pec & Abs Workout: Customizable workout template.
  • Delts & Traps Workout: Customizable workout template.
  • Triceps & Biceps Workout: Customizable workout template.
  • Exercise List: 218 video exercises you can choose from and customize your own workouts.

* Click to enlarge

Improve your Health Productivity Workflow

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