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I’m three days into the whole ‘working from home’ thing and I’ve already lost all hope of achieving a routine, despite reading my freelancer colleague’s extensive guide. I’ve been having breakfast at midday, washing my hair at 3pm and feeling like I’ve achieved a grand total of zero work despite being sat at my makeshift desk all day.
That’s why I’ve enlisted the advice of Nick Powell, a peak performance coach who works with high-achieving entrepreneurs and senior leaders, to share his foolproof (and cost-free) tips for being more productive at home.
Nick is the author of Limitless, a book containing twelve strategies to enable you to ‘biohack’ your way to exceptional performance, just like Bradley Cooper in the hit movie, Limitless. In lieu of magic pills like the ones Bradley took (although I have tried those for research purposes), I’m turning to Nick’s simple yet effective performance hacking advice and you can too. Here are his top tips…
Start your day with a cold shower
You can benefit from cold thermogenesis by taking a hot shower each day and at the end of the shower, turn it too a cold temperature for one minute. The first few days will be tough but it’s worth persevering because the benefits are incredible.
If the cold shower is too much for you to start with, then try splashing cold water over your face a few times in the morning and then build up to the cold shower slowly. Alternatively, you can start with a cool shower and each day turn the temperature down gradually. Some people find it beneficial to rub their body vigorously when having a cold shower and that helps them deal with the shock of the cold.
Add butter to your coffee
Have you heard of Bulletproof Coffee? It was created by Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof and following a trip to Tibet where they put yak butter in their tea, he decided to create his own twist by adding butter and MCT oil to his coffee.
I know it sounds kind of disgusting but it’s similar to a latte and it lights your brain up within minutes of drinking it. The mental clarity is superb, and you will feel the benefits almost immediately. Believe me – you need to try this.
Set intentions and transitions
Be clear on your intentions for the day and what you need to get done, what your work priorities are and when you get it done. When at home, it’s tempting to extend your working day to make up for what you haven’t done during your working day. You’ll end up beating yourself up and will be miserable.
Set a clear transition for when you finish work. Shut down your computer and transition to a different activity which signifies the end of your day such as exercise, going for a walk or playing with your children.
You’ll be surprised how much you move when travelling to and from work and moving around an office building. You need to replicate the movement to prevent yourself from becoming sedentary. I’d recommend that you:
- Purchase a standing desk
- Take phone calls standing up
- Go for a walk
- Keep away from the fridge. It’s going to be tempting to snack but avoid the temptation to consume junk. If you’re a snacker, make sure you have something healthy at hand and make sure it’s not something that will deplete your energy such as sugary snacks.
Accept that you get distracted but try to avoid it as much as possible by:
- Using noise cancelling headphones to stop sounds around the home to distract you, especially when the children arrive home from school.
- Using an internet blocking tool and add in the sites that make you distracted such as the social media favourites (Facebook, Twitter), Netflix and News sites. This will help keep you focused and stop you from getting distracted.
- Setting clear boundaries with your family especially your children.
Get enough shut-eye to set yourself up for the day
Make sure the room is completely dark and cool. Blackout the windows and tape up any LEDs on devices in your bedroom, especially if they are blue. It must be pitch black. Also, keep the room cool and aim for the temperature in the bedroom to be 18.5° Celsius. Nobody likes being too hot in bed. Make yourself a pre-bed cocktail of honey, tea and apple cider vinegar: combine two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey and stir these into one cup of decaffeinated tea. This pre-bed cocktail will knock you out. It’s worth the funky taste and will boost your immune system, too.