Raise your hand if you wish you were less productive.
Anyone? Is anybody out there?
Typical professionals don’t wish to be less productive. In the busy world we live today, we’re constantly wondering how to be more productive at work.
How do we accomplish that? There are two ways to be more productive:
- Work more hours.
- Do more with the time you have.
Out of the two options, the second method is best. It means working fewer hours to spend time with our family and friends. It can also mean a promotion without working overtime. Or simply feeling like you’re not drowning in work.
There are countless methods that claim to make you more productive. More coffee. The Pomodoro technique. Getting rid of distractions. Making lists.
I have different technique to make you more productive. My method doesn’t only make you more productive. In addition, it’s proven to increase company profitability, improve brain function and help you enjoy your work more.
Say hello to my technique to increased workplace productivity: food.
Food affects our brains and how well they function
Food affects how we function.
Consider this study done on schoolchildren:
All the children in a class were told to skip breakfast one morning, and then, by random assignment, half of the children were given a good breakfast at school. The others got nothing. During the first part of the morning, the children who got breakfast learned more and misbehaved less (as judged by monitors who didn’t know which children had eaten). Then, after all the students were given a healthy snack in the middle of the morning, the differences disappeared as if by magic.
We’re not antsy children, we’re adults. But who doesn’t get hangry after they skip lunch? Or who’s ever been so preoccupied by food that you can’t focus on getting anything else done?
Let’s face it: we’re affected by what (and when) we eat.
Food affects workplace productivity
Food doesn’t just affect our brains. It ultimately affects how productive we are and how much money a company makes.
Another study, done at various GEICO sites, determined that employees who were encouraged to eat plant-based diets improved their productivity. After 18 weeks of eating plant-centric diets, employees reduced anxiety, fatigue and general impairments because of health issues. They also bettered their emotional physical functioning, mental health and vitality.
Another bonus? Those who changed their eating habits were more satisfied with their diet and reduced their grocery bills.
All these positive changes lead to more work done, happier employees and more money for investors. It’s true. When companies focus on employee well-being and safety, the company’s stock does better. And that leads to larger dividends for stockholders.
How to be more productive at work
“How can I be more productive at work?” is no longer the question. The new question is, “What am I going to eat to maximize my productivity?”
You may be an employee with little power at a company. Or you could be a person with lots of influence. You can make a difference in either situation by increasing the amount of plants available at work.
Plants are divided into a handful of large categories:
- whole grains
- nuts and seeds
By increasing the amount of plant foods available, it’s likely everybody will load up on plant options over non-plant foods.
How to be more productive in the morning:
If breakfast is normally bacon and eggs, switch it up. Here are a few plant-based breakfast ideas:
- Wholegrain cereal with almond milk
- A smoothie bowl topped with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds
- Oatmeal topped with spices and fruit
The key for breakfast is to get a combination of healthy sugar and complex carbohydrates into your system. Your body needs sugar to jolt itself awake. The complex carbohydrates keep you fueled until lunchtime and prevent your energy from crashing.
I have a whole post dedicated to breakfasts you can make in 15 minutes. So stop the excuses and make sure you start your day off right.
How to be more productive in the afternoon:
For lunch, replace a ham and cheese sandwich with fat, protein and carbohydrates from more plants. Here are some examples:
- A burrito filled with beans, rice, avocado and salsa
- Hummus sandwich with tomato, spinach and cucumber
- Wholegrain pasta with marinara sauce
Avoid lunches with too much fat as that can cause you to feel sleepy afterwards.
If you’re lacking energy mid-afternoon, try snacking on vegetables with hummus, unsalted nuts and seeds, or fresh fruit.
Increased workplace productivity is easy
Hounding employees (or yourself) on how to avoid distractions, schedule their time properly or spend less time chatting can be a hassle. Not to mention frustrating and fruitless. An easier solution is to change the food they eat.
By offering more plant-centric and vegetarian options, employees are more likely to choose them. And that choice is worth the upfront effort in time, money and productivity gained.
Looking for other plant-based meal ideas? See healthy recipes on my website.