There are hundreds of productivity apps and programs available to entrepreneurs. Many of them provide genuine benefits. But without the most essential productivity tool, your focus and workflow will still remain less than optimal.
What is this powerful productivity tool? Quite simply, eating the right food.
Good nutrition is everything when it comes to mental ability, focus, and wellbeing. The best will in the world can falter when fueled by a poor diet. Professionals with unhealthy diets can be 66 percent more likely to report suffering a loss in productivity, according to studies. Those who rarely eat fruit or vegetables, even more so.
Report after report highlight the importance of a well-balanced diet for improved mental focus, productivity, and even creativity. What you eat for breakfast, or for lunch, can have a big impact on how you work in the hours that follow. Plus, what you eat at night, can also affect your sleep, which in turn influences the following day’s cognitive performance.
The importance of focus and productivity
As an entrepreneurial professional, your ability to focus and increase your workflows is vital to your success. If the work doesn’t get done or your focus is weak, then your results suffer, and in the long-term this can be catastrophic.
It’s often difficult to notice just how much our diet impacts our lives and our thought patterns, especially if an unhealthy diet has been long-term. When people switch to a healthier diet, they often notice a big change in how well they can focus on tasks.
How what we eat impacts the brain and body
Productivity is inherently tied to will-power. The longer you can stay focused on a task, the more you’ll get done. Resisting distractions and temptations is often considered a case of practicing mental strength but studies have also discovered a weakened willpower is connected to low blood sugar (or glucose levels).
Blood sugar is influenced by the intake of carbohydrates, included in a lot of highly processed and sugary foods. Too many carbs cause your blood sugar to spike, giving us a burst of energy, before then dropping, and leading to a more long-term slump.
Carbs are essential to the body but it’s in the form many of us consume these carbs that leads to mental tiredness and poor productivity. Low glycemic carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide a steadier supply of energy to the body and brain, thereby avoiding excessive blood sugar level peaks and troughs.
So which foods should we be avoiding and which should we be eating? What foods are best if we’re to benefit from increased productivity, willpower, and mental focus?
Foods to avoid
Processed sugary foods are high on the list of foods to avoid if you want to remain at peak performance during your work day. Excess sugar and carbs impair cognitive function and this can be a result of consuming things like sugary drinks, sweetened breakfast cereals, white bread, pastries and cakes, cookies, potato chips, and chocolate.
Processed meats, cheeses, and most fast-food meals are high in unhealthy fats and sugars which increase insulin levels and, as a reaction, a release of sleep hormones like serotonin and tryptophan. That’s why you want to nap after certain meals in the afternoon.
Foods to choose
Eating the right food is essential whether it’s morning, noon, or evening. A healthy lunch followed by an unhealthy dinner, is going to do little for your mental focus and productivity the next day. It’s therefore important to eat well all the time.
Fiber-rich whole wheat bread together with a little protein, such as egg, is a healthier alternative to sugary breakfast cereals or white bread. The brown bread results in less of a blood sugar spike due to lower glycemic levels.
Eggs are a great choice for breakfast or lunch because it contains not only protein but also a B-vitamin called choline, which boosts memory and speeds up reaction times. Salmon is another healthy protein rich in iron and vitamins which improve focus, reasoning, and memory.
Yogurt contains probiotics and minerals which help your digestive system, including healthy hydration. This, in turn, makes you feel better and less tired when it comes to focusing on work.
Leafy greens – the bane of kids worldwide – are a healthy addition to lunch and dinner. The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they contain increases oxygen to your body, which helps your brain function.
Walnuts, cashews, almonds are also great foods to include throughout the day. These nuts contain ingredients that stimulate the human brain to generate chemicals that help balance mood.
Good food and good productivity tools
Of course, when you combine the productivity benefits of healthy eating with the best productivity tools, then you’re really going to be a productivity powerhouse.
Here at Invoice Ninja, we have a number of tools that enable you to speed up tasks and workflows. These include Kanban Boards that give you a visual overview of what needs to be done, when, how, and by whom. Time tracking tools help you accurately record every second of your workday – including billable hours for invoices – allowing you to assess just where you can speed up certain jobs and processes.
Plus, our invoicing platform connects to more than 1000 of the most popular work apps allowing you to integrate, synchronize, and automate data and tasks right across any system you have. Data added to Invoice Ninja can be updated in dozens of other apps and platforms within seconds, and vice-versa.
Eating the right food for optimum mind performance
As an entrepreneur, being as productive as possible is one of the keys to success. Nutrition plays such an important role not just with productivity but also mental clarity, memory, motivation, mood, mental strength, and overall physical health.
With so many tasks, jobs, processes, and people to manage, ensuring your cognitive and emotional wellbeing are in optimum condition is imperative. And thankfully, this is something very much in your control.
By adjusting your diet and eating habits, you can quickly notice positive differences in how your mind performs.
Together with productivity tools, mindset changes, relaxation exercises, and other positive habits, eating the right food will help your mind and body work in your favor, rather than against you.