Productivity is a catch-all word that means a lot of things to a lot of people, especially as it relates to business. To some, it means generating more units of work. To others, it relates to an increase of profits. Still others believe productivity is a positive state of mind. Many relate it to the amount of effort being applied to a job. In fact, productivity is all of these things, and more.
Naturally many people have come up with easy productivity boosters you might not have considered. These life hacks are often creative and useful to people who depend on high levels of productivity to keep their lives on track. That said, the reason we have to come up with these life hacks is that there are even more things bombarding us that reduce and even eliminate our productivity. It is a constant battle we are all, ultimately destined to lose. No matter how productive you want to be, there are a few things that will succeed at robbing you of some of your productivity.
- Sleep: You cannot defeat your circadian rhythm for very long. You might manage to pull an all-nighter or two. But you will eventually succumb to exhaustion. No amount of caffeine can change that. Further, your productivity will suffer while you are awake because you will inevitably make more mistakes. And those errors could be costly
- Life: The daily vicissitudes of life will always get in the way. We do not live in a steady state. Life is fluid. And that fluidity will always catch up with us. Your spouse, child, house, or dog will always have some demand for your time that takes away from your work productivity. This is as it should be. It is not a bug but a feature. And it is also unavoidable.
- Health: This is another one of those productivity thieves that is inevitable. But there are a few things we can do to fight back. Here are a few health issues that rob us of our productivity, and a what we can do to eliminate them:
Relationship Health Can Kill Productivity
Both men and women can have sexual dysfunction. However, men are less likely to have a conversation about it with their doctor. Sex is a little like sleep in that if you go without it long enough, everything in your life suffers as a result. No man wants to admit to having erectile dysfunction. If you suspect you might have this problem, look into what causes ED and see if you have some of those underlying causes. From there, you should consult with a physician. If they concur, you can get readily available treatments that have a track record of success.
We already know that increased sexual fulfillment leads to an increase in quality of sleep. What we are just now learning is that quality sleep can lead to better sex. It is a truly virtuous cycle. In men, ED is a subtle and often hidden killer of productivity. By dealing with this issue at home, you will have one less productivity killer at work.
Diabetes is a Productivity-Killer
We already know that diabetes is a slow killer. We also know that it is reaching epidemic levels in the US. Lately, it has taken a backseat to the coronavirus because that is a fast killer. One of the secondary effects of the pandemic is that people with diabetes have settled into a lifestyle that makes the disease even worse. More people have sheltered in the house and have done much less exercise than they would get if they were out and about. That exercise is crucial to sufferers of diabetes because it can directly lower glucose levels and it also helps them lose weight.
There are also dietary issues related to having to order groceries from a service rather than shopping for themselves. Some services might not offer stores that have the specialized dietary products they need. They might also order from restaurants more than usual. This is seldom a good thing for people with specialized diets.
One of the best tools available for diabetics is the continuous glucose meter (CGM). With a CGM, diabetics no longer have to stop and do finger sticks. They can know exactly when their blood sugar is on the way down and they can intervene before a low sugar incident becomes a productivity killer. They can also see when their sugar is elevated and better target their diet based on how their body reacts to certain foods. People who take insulin can usually get insurance to pay for a CGM. Check with your doctor and your pharmacist for more information. Getting your diabetes under control can also get your productivity back on track.
Working until it hurts too bad to continue might make you feel like you are being productive. But in fact, you are reducing productivity by pushing your body to the point of pain. If you type all day, expect your wrists to hurt. If you lift all day, expect your knees and back to hurt. The next step is a trip to the doctor, then a brace, then reduced hours, then short-term leave, then, your search for a new job begins. This is a pattern that has been repeated since time immemorial.
You don’t have to push it to the point of needing surgery. The key is to take multiple short breaks. It doesn’t matter what your company’s break policy is. Unofficial breaks are a part of corporate culture. So get up from your desk every hour and spend two minutes by the water cooler. Take your time when you have to go to the copy machine for a printout. Do the little things that give your body just a few moments to recover. It is better to give up a little productivity for the sake of your health than to give up a lot of it because your body forced you to stop working altogether.
Of all the productivity tips you should take to heart, taking care of sexual dysfunction, diabetes, and repetitive stress are among the most important.