What’s really holding you back from maximum productivity?

Don't be held back from being your best.

Don’t be held back from being your best.

When people think of trying to maximise their productivity, the conversation generally tends towards things you can do differently in the workplace.  And admittedly, most of my recent articles have focused on the work aspect.

There is actually a lot more to your productivity than focusing just on what happens during the day at work.

Essentially your output will be maximised when your energy is maximised.  Don’t even think about trying to pretend to be at your productive best if you are lacking in energy.

Now we are not talking about anything “new age” here.  We are just talking about the strength and vitality required for sustained mental or physical activity.

In order to understand how to maximise your energy you need to look outside the workplace, not just inside the workplace.  At Inside 80 Performance we talk about three broad categories – Body, Brain and Belief.  

If you were to think of every possible aspect as to what gives you energy or what takes it away from you, most things would fit into at least one of the below categories.

Let’s look at each of these:


Your energy from your body depends on the physical aspects of how you look after your body.  For example are you exercising? Do you eat enough nutritious foods to give you energy? Are you getting enough sleep?


This is the part which is incorporates most of the things which happen in the workplace.  For example, are you working closely to your natural pace?  Are you factoring in recoveries and lighter tasks as part of your broader productivity plan?  Are you managing your diary to help you to get the most amount done in the least amount of time or do you spend more time “looking busy”?  How do you manage email and meetings?


This features in all aspects of your life.  For example do you have any limiting beliefs that are preventing you from reaching your full potential in work and in life?  Do you have a high ratio of positive thoughts to negative thoughts or is your lack of positivity holding you back?  Do other people’s actions affect your feelings and ultimately your productivity?

Everything is related

The interesting thing about all of these is that they are all inextricably linked.  Think of all of these aspects like a windshield.  If a crack starts to appear in one part, you need to address it or it will start to spread to other areas of your life.

For example – some people may find cracks occurring in the “body” component – if you aren’t eating good fuel to sustain your day at work your energy will decrease.  And if your energy decreases – ironically you will crave more bad food that is high in sugar.

To take that further, if you are not eating right then chances are you won’t be able to do much physical exercise.  Lack of exercise is also a big factor in depleting your energy.  Once you are lacking in energy from not looking after your body properly it may extend to other areas – for example your belief.

Generally speaking your positivity goes up when you feel good physically so if you don’t feel like you’re in peak performance mode physically, chances are you will start to feel a little more negative.  Once you feel negative this can permeate through to your behaviour at work that can affect you and those around you.  It can reduce not just your productivity but the productivity of those around you.

Others may find their cracks appear in the brain component – lack of time management for their pace leaves them feeling exhausted, this then flows through to their mind-set and of course if they have bad time management then chances are they are not exercising as let’s face it, no one has time for exercise – you need to create it.

It is important to look at all components – Body, Brain and Belief

Every person is different.   People can be energised and conversely stressed by completely different things.  In other words the windshield cracks will be different for everyone.  Some people need to focus on their fitness and nutrition to increase their productivity and decrease their effort in the work place.

Others need to focus on their positivity while others need to focus on how they manage their work in relation to their natural pace, just to name a few more examples.

Once you have determined the source of what is actually draining your energy you can then focus on these areas to give you the biggest results.

There is no “one-size fits all” approach

It’s quite easy for anyone to come up with at least 100 ways to improve energy.  The better solution is to identify just two to three things that you can do to improve your energy.

Making changes takes energy and given that we want to increase energy we don’t want to spend any unnecessary effort trying to make changes that don’t yield big results for you personally.  Therefore it’s important to make sure that the few changes you identify will give you the biggest results for the least amount of effort.

After all, that is what productivity is all about.

You must be logged in to post or view comments.