Most people make it through the day, barely hanging on by a thread and by the time three o’clock comes around they’re drained. If you’re running a startup, or a fast-growth business you can relate.
Some people call it the after lunch slump. Whatever you call it, you probably recognize that period where you are completely unable to be productive or focus for a second longer.
High productivity levels are a lofty goal. On your own, boosting productivity is a lot easier said than done. You can walk into your office in the morning with the best intentions. However, it can be hard to override your body chemistry all on your own.
Unbeknownst to many, there are ways to enhance productivity without taping your eyelids open. In fact, some of these biohacks are used by top executives as well as big players in Silicon Valley. For entrepreneurial types, productivity boosting supplements (also referred to as nootropics or “smart drugs”) can improve their workday.
The key to a successful and alert day is a full night of sleep. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a serial entrepreneur, getting enough sleep is crucial. Whatever the task, be it physical, mental or both, your body needs rest.
A supplement that is often taken for better sleep is GABA. GABA is a supplement that scientists classify as a neuro-inhibitory transmitter. Neuro-inhibitory transimitters help your brain shut itself down so you can calm down and go to sleep.
For stressed out entrepreneurs who simply cannot quiet their minds, this may be a viable option. Best taken before bed, you can also use GABA during the day (just make sure to have Uber pick you up (grab a free ride) and not operate any machinery).
L-Theanine (a natural compound often extracted from green tea) is the go-to supplement for alertness in the workplace. It is a naturally occurring supplement that is easy to find on the market.
It is perfect for those who are new to the supplement market and remains a staple of those who are more experienced with supplements. L-Theanine is best taken with a small dose of caffeine to improve alertness.
You should take it with caffeine instead of ingesting caffeine alone because it gives you the focus of caffeine without the negative side effects. With L-Theanine, you can improve productivity without the shakes, jitters and anxiety that come with caffeine. The combination creates the perfect symbiosis of naturally occurring supplements to help you work smarter and harder.
Memory is a mysterious thing because it is constantly playing tricks on you. Whether the word is at the tip of your tongue or the information you knew by heart yesterday just flew out of your head, a poor memory can make your work a lot harder.
Ginkgo biloba is showing serious potential in the field of memory. An all-natural supplement, it “has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Today, it is one of the top-selling herbs in the United States,” according to the Mayo Foundation. It is also used to help treat certain types of dementia.
Memory is affected by any reduction of blood flow, through blood vessels, in the brain. Ginkgo biloba helps by working to increase blood flow in small vessels of the brain.
Concentration can be a real issue even when you are fully awake or alert. Thankfully, concentration enhancers and brain boosters can help you concentrate, even if your feeling sleepy or tired.
Piracetam, a synthetic drug, is a nootropic and more commonly referred to as a brain booster. Piracetam is a good place to start if you have an interest in supplements that work to improve your overall cognitive function. The aim of this supplement is to help you focus and concentrate.
Everyone needs a little pick-me-up at times. Whether you found a spider in your cornflakes or you suffer from a serious mood disorder like anxiety or depression, being in a bad mood is not conducive to productivity or entrepreneurship.
Mood enhancers often come in the form of antidepressants or other prescription medications. However, these also come with a lot of side effects. They also aren’t useful for those who are in a rut, but are not clinically depressed.
St. John’s Wort is an herb that people use to treat anxiety and mild depression. Its use extends back several centuries and it is even used to treat sleep disorders. Clinical trials suggest that St. John’s Wort is not useful for severe depression or anxiety. But it may give you a natural boost to help you get through a tough week.
Everybody needs an extra boost every once in a while. When the going gets tough, you can lean on natural supplements to help improve your sleep, mood and overall productivity at work.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Simon Crompton is a freelance journalist and entrepreneur running several online businesses including his marketing firm, Threecolors.blue. Simon spends the majority of his time blogging about business startups and consulting on web development. He has launched multiple online companies. He is also a dedicated follower of fashion, and has written for the Financial Times and GQ. Connect with @PermanentStle on Twitter.
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