There has been a lot written on productivity. Too much. Countless books, blogs, and seminars prattle endlessly about where it comes from, how to get it, and what to do once you have it. Many of the latest techniques are interesting but I find that 90% of my productivity hinges on three pretty simple and often overlooked factors. ie Low-hanging fruit.
1. Am I hydrated?
2. Have I eaten fruits and vegetables?
3. Have I gotten any physical exercise?
1. A lot of times when I’m “tired” or “feeling lazy” I’m actually just thirsty. I think that the easiest way to tell if I’m hydrated is if I have to pee when I wake up in the morning. Urine color is also a major indicator. Yellow bad, clear better. I also try to keep a glass of water on my desk during the day so that I have to get up and pee a couple times. I find it’s helpful to just walk away from whatever I’m doing for about 5-10 minutes every hour but I always forget. Staying hydrated helps.
2. I usually take fruit to meetings. I sometimes suspect this might be inappropriate but fuck it, I live in the Bay Area and anything goes. I like an epic salad 4 out of 7 days per week. Greens keep my immune system bounding back from all the damage that is otherwise wrought on it.
3. Exercise makes my blood pump and there is blood in my brain. That’s a weak argument but running up flights of stairs makes me happy.
++ Update ++
A lot of people have mentioned that sleep is a leading indicator for them as well. I have noticed that I get better ideas and do more work when everyone else is asleep. 5-7 hours is ideal, whereas 8 makes me groggy all day.