How to Have a More Productive Day

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Time Management | Posted on 13-05-2012-05-2008


I get a lot of emails asking how I find the time to write an article every day.

2 reasons:

1) I type fast


2) I make my day as productive as possible.

Here’s how to make your day more productive.

Step 1 – Get up earlier.

And yes, that requires going to sleep earlier. But I’m not talking an hour or two…but only 10 or 20 minutes earlier per day.

The extra 20 minutes are magic time…the time in morning when I, as many people do, get more done than they do in several hour blocks at other points later in the day. So get up sleepyhead, and use the solitude to take care of business.

(And when you get into work, do the same. Get in early, get straight to work, and you’ll find yourself ahead of the crowd in no time.)

Step 2 – Water x 2

Water plays an important role in getting my morning off to a fast start. First, I drink 2 cups of cold water to wash down 3 fish oil capsules. Then I start on breakfast (oatmeal, protein, berries, yogurt, and nuts) while sitting down to answer the emails you’ve sent me overnight.

Getting up 10 minutes earlier to answer these emails has made a huge difference in my productivity. No question. Consider doing the same for yourself.

The second role of water is the shower. People are more creative around running water. And I’m not the first to say this…Matt Furey has brought this up as well, saying that he gets a lot of his ideas when surrounded by water…there must be something about being in water that stimulates the mind.

So powerful are the effects of water on my creativity that I literally have to write the ideas down as soon as I get out of the shower. Once that water stops running, the ideas start to vanish…

Now the only thing that compares in terms of idea stimulation, for me, is exercise. So when you workout, take a note pad – not only to record your workout but to brainstorm and problem solve.

Step 3 – Nutrition

I’ve started the day with the healthiest supplement possible – fish oil, and I eat protein, fiber, berries, and nuts to start my day – giving me the fiber to control my appetite and blood sugar till the next meal.

Step 4 – Green Tea

Do not pass go. Do not stop at Starbucks. Do not collect your regular caffeine-loaded beverage. Instead, brew your own organic Green Tea to provide you with a lower dose of caffeine (or none at all if you get naturally de-caffeinated Green Tea). Army researchers have found that smaller amounts of caffeine delivered at more frequent intervals lead to better performance. Don’t overdose on caffeine every morning.

And if you get a headache without your morning cup of coffee, congratulations! You’re addicted to the world’s most common drug. And you might want to do something about that…

Step 5 – A Steady Supply of Protein, Healthy Fats, and Fiber
Self-explanatory by now, I should hope! Snack on almonds, lean protein sources, fibrous vegetables, an apple, etc. over the morning to keep mentally sharp.

Step 6 – Bodyweight Energizer Bunny

Remember the secret to instant energy when you hit the a mid-morning motivational slump…

10 reps of the Y-Squat – This is a bodyweight squat with your hands held up in a “Y” position.

Step 7 – Don’t let lunch rob you of your mental energy
Unless you want to go straight from lunch into an hour-long productivity-destroying nap, then lay off the breaded veal sandwiches at lunch.

Stick to the program: lean protein, fibrous green vegetables, Green Tea, healthy fats, etc. Avoid these mental buzz killers: soda, pizza, a lot of bread, french fries, desserts, and so on.

If you want to run an elite mental engine, you have to burn high-performance fuel.

Step 8 – Lose Fat & You Will Make More Money
Now that’s an unconventional way to increase productivity.

But welcome to the harsh reality of size-ism.

Research shows that overweight men and women make less money than their normal weight colleagues. While the world is not fair, you can even the playing field by eating and exercising properly.

The healthy lifestyle and workouts will help lose fat, while increasing your creativity and productivity. I smell promotion.

So let’s leave it there for today…because if you aren’t having a massively productive morning by now, then I’m not convinced you even get up before noon.

Now go be productive!

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit

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