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5 crazy productivity hacks approved by Silicon Valley

5 crazy productivity hacks approved by Silicon Valley

Posted 12th February, 2019 by Aidan

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are at the top of the high performance game, and are well known for their out-of-the-box approach to getting ahead. Forward-thinking, innovative processes, along with a commitment to overachieving, push the region’s businesses to try out pretty much anything to be the best at what they do.

While the stakes for us may not always be so high, we can all benefit from finding new ways to boost our productivity from time to time. Paying closer attention to what makes you focus best on the task at hand could have a significant positive impact on both your professional and personal life.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few far-out productivity and efficiency hacks you can implement right away.

The importance of boosting your productivity levels

Life hacks are having a real moment right now. Everyone is obsessed with doing things in a more efficient way, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Silicon Valley.

Long known for hosting some of the world’s largest companies, Silicon Valley is home to scores of business owners who do whatever it takes to remain at the number-one spot for high-powered productivity. In particular, they love to find and promote new productivity hacks – unusual ways of increasing focus, building resilience, and even boosting brain power.

This is unsurprising, as blazing through your to-do list grants you the opportunity to seek out new professional opportunities, for example, or to simply enjoy more free time. That’s not to mention the mental relief that results from fewer looming deadlines.

5 crazy productivity hacks approved by Silicon Valley

Let’s look at five of the most unusual, but potentially effective, productivity boosting techniques employed in Silicon Valley.

1. The nappuccino

The ultimate power-nap, a ‘nappuccino’ is an unconventional mix of coffee and sleeping. This method is known to boost concentration and increase energy levels, more than the two key factors can do individually.

Daniel Pink, the productivity-hacking author of When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, once stated that these coffee-fueled naps “changed his life forever”.

To try a nappuccino out for yourself, simply drink a cup of your favourite coffee, lay down somewhere comfortable, and set an alarm to go off in 20 minutes. It is thought that quick periods of sleep actually provide a more effective boost to the body and mind than longer ones, and adding a shot of caffeine to the mix helps you wake up from the short rest ready to work.

2. The Wim Hof method

This psychological hack is based on three key elements – deep breathing, cold therapy, and commitment. Named after the Dutch extreme athlete, Wim Hof, who was known for his ability to withstand cold, the method centres around controlled breathing and cold showers.

Those who frequently use the Wim Hof method swear by it, stating that it boosts energy levels and decreases stress throughout the day. The method is thought to release the hormone epinephrine, which causes a rush throughout the body and burns fat, while also providing a sense of clarity.

To try out this technique, you must first focus on controlling your breathing and holding your breath intermittently. After this, you take a freezing cold shower – creating an apparent state of euphoria. There’s a lot more to the technique than that, however, and you can check out Wim Hof’s site for all the details.

3. Nootropics

One of the more infamous Silicon Valley hacks is the rise of ‘nootropics’ – also known as cognitive enhancers. Advocates believe that nootropics can actually make you smarter, as they’re made up of herbal ingredients, dietary supplements, and caffeine.

These supplements are said to boost focus and resilience, as well as to provide mental stimulation. Popular nootropics like Modafinil and L-theanine work by boosting dopamine and reducing anxiety, helping you focus better on the task at hand.

Although the creators of popular cognitive enhancers use ingredients that aren’t typically harmful, it’s worth noting that nootropics require further study before they can be considered safe. Therefore, this is a productivity hack you’ll want to be particularly cautious about.

4. Biohacking

While this productivity hack is commonplace throughout Silicon Valley, it’s not necessarily for everyone. ‘Biohacking’ has a number of meanings, but it most commonly refers to the growing trend of fasting in order to boost performance. However, this practice carries some potentially significant risks.

Still, paying attention to the food and drink you consume can have a big impact on your productivity levels. Diets that consist of too much sugar and empty calories can result in fatigue, as well as decreased mental effectiveness. Increasing your intake of healthy fats and key vitamins, along with drinking at least two litres of water a day, can have a very positive effect on your professional life.

5. Listening to podcasts and e-books in double time

Podcasts and e-books are a great way to absorb information on the go, whether that’s on your daily commute or while waiting in line at a shop. However, Silicon Valley pros often consume this content in an unusual way – they listen to the content played at a higher-than-usual speed, in order to absorb the information at a faster pace.

Listening to educational content at a faster speed means you can fit more learning into your day. Doing this also improves your ability to retain information, something that can benefit you both professionally and personally.

Most podcast and e-book players now include the option to speed up your content when listening. Plus, free podcast management apps like Overcast offer additional features, including the option to cut out moments of silence and dead air.

Conclusion

Although Silicon Valley often takes productivity to the extreme, there’s a method to the madness. Taking a more considered approach to the way you eat, sleep, and work can have a positive effect on your efficiency. What’s more, productivity hacks can be a great way to focus your mind on the task at hand – even if you don’t reach Silicon Valley levels.

In this post, we’ve gone over five ways you can hack your productivity levels like a Silicon Valley pro. Let’s recap them:

Take a nappuccino to improve your energy levels. Try the Wim Hof method, which may release performance-enhancing hormones. Check out nootropics, which are thought to boost focus and resilience. However, do your research before trying these cognitive enhancers for yourself.
Pay attention to your nutritional needs, in order to increase your focus. Listen to podcasts and e-books in double time, so you can absorb information faster.

Categories: Tips, Marketing, Small Businesses

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