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If you wake up each morning with more to do than you will ever accomplish, you need to look at your productivity.

While life can get overwhelming at times, practicing good productivity habits will help you make the most of each day.

Make Effective To-do Lists

Many people swear by their to-do list, but they may be costing you productivity if you are not correctly writing them. Divide the things you must do into three categories. At the top of your list should be what you must accomplish and have a time limit on them. Then, list the things that are most vital but could wait until tomorrow if necessary. Finally, list the things that would be nice if you got them done. Create a work to-do list and one for your personal life. Keep from mixing the two.

Stop Pretending You Can Multitask

The brain is not able to multitask, so stop pretending that you can do it. Scientific studies show that multitasking slows down your productivity by up to 40% because of the time it takes your brain to switch gears entirely. Multitasking creates a mental traffic jam in your mind. The first step to stopping this habit is to train your brain to focus on what you are doing right then. Often, keeping a piece of paper nearby to write down that fleeting thought as it passes through your brain is enough to keep you on task.

About 20% of what you do each day produces 80% of the movement towards your goals. Be sure to focus on those items during your most productive hours. Since many founders work from home, they need to figure out what hours are their most productive ones and make it a point to be working during those hours.

Fuel Their Bodies

Eating a healthy diet helps to increase energy and alertness. It also helps to keep your immune system strong so that you will spend less time taking sick days. Increase your productivity by always eating breakfast.

You need a lot of creativity in your role as a company’s founder, so make sure you are eating a diet high in magnesium as research shows it makes you a more creative thinker. Great choices can be salmon, spinach and Swiss chard. Ensure that you get at least the recommended amount of niacin, which can be found in liver, chicken, beef and turkey, as consuming a diet high in these will help you concentrate better.

Take Breaks

Research shows that people have work cycles, just like they do sleep cycles. It turns out that people who work for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break were the most productive. The brain works in short bursts, so go ahead and permit yourself to take breaks frequently.

Exercise

As a founder, you may think you do not have time to exercise, but the opposite is true. First, people who exercise feel better physically and have a better mood. Exercise gives you the energy boost you may need to defeat the afternoon slump. Research even shows that regular exercise increases your mental capacity. Do not exercise within one hour of bedtime, or it may interfere with you getting a good night’s sleep.

Get Enough Sleep

It can be hard to work when you are constantly fighting the urge to take a nap. Instead, be sure that you get enough rest at night. Establish a bedtime routine so that your body knows what time it needs to wind down. Try going to bed at the same time daily and getting up at the same time. Make sure that you have an excellent mattress so that you sleep supported and comfortable. Try a hybrid mattress that’s the right balance between comfort and support. If you find that you must have a nap, then keep it to 20 minutes or less.

Applying these productivity tips to your life can improve your productivity. Then, you are more likely to see your company succeed.

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