We all have felt that after lunch funk before. You have so much to do, but you don't have the energy to get it done. Your stomach is full. You feel bloated. Foggy. A nap sounds fantastic! But you don't have the time. You must get that work done!
I get it! But what if there were a way you could eat that would help you be as productive as possible? There is! And it's not just about what you eat; it's about when you eat.
Let's dive in.
The way you schedule your day has a significant impact on your productivity. Scheduling your creative tasks that require a lot of mental energy right after lunch may not set you up for success.
When you eat, your body diverts a-lot of energy from your extremities and your brain to your digestive system. This is good for digestion, but not so good for your mental energy, especially if you are eating a meal crammed with carbs and processed foods.
It takes a lot of energy to digest and absorb the food we eat. Our bodies divert blood flow and energy to make sure that our digestive system functions correctly and efficiently. Having this blood flow diverted to our digestive system also helps the nutrients get to where they need to go in the body once absorbed.This is great for digestion and the absorption of nutrients, but not so great for our productivity as it takes blood flow and energy away from our brain.
Here is what we have found to be the best eating schedule for productivity:
It is essential to schedule your most creative tasks during times where your body is not digesting food. For most, this means first thing in the morning. This requires us to fast in the morning (I will link more articles below that will help with the specifics of fasting). Doing creative tasks such as content creation, writing, and thinking through important decisions in the morning ensures that your brain is rested and fully functioning. It also allows all of the energy to be devoted to your thinking rather than digestion.
We must schedule eating and work around each other to have the best productivity. These two things can partner together instead of hindering each other.
So if we are fasting in the morning and using that time to do all of our creative work, then when do I eat, and what work should I do then? Awesome question!
We have found it helpful to schedule meetings right after lunch. I'm not talking about crucial meetings where big decisions need to be made. I'm talking about regular meetings where your mental capacity does not have to be quite as high. Not that these meetings don't matter, they might not be as creative. Meetings like catching up with a friend, new introduction meetings, meetings where you are giving an update to your leader. Meetings that are reflective and don't require you to go deep in thought.
You can also schedule tasks or errands that are pretty mindless. It doesn't require much mental energy to get your tags done or pay a bill. And your mental state won't affect the quality of the result. You either get them done, or you don't. These types of tasks are great to do after a meal because you don't have to think a lot.
The other big factor to consider is what you are eating. Timing is also a big factor, but the types of food you are eating can also have a big influence on how you feel for hours after a meal. Eating a meal that is high in carbs, and that doesn't have many nutrients isn't going to set you up for success the rest of the day. Eating a fresh, clean meal can help take away that afternoon lull many of us have felt. Download our free resource, the 4 things you must get with every meal, so you know exactly what to get with every meal!
Everyone is different. You know when you have the most mental energy. You know what the essential things are that need to be done. Your best time might be first thing in the morning, it might be in the afternoon, or it might even be in the evening. Whatever you prefer, partner your eating and schedule together to be your most productive self.
Check out our other articles on fasting that will help you implement fasting right!