This week we’re looking at simple ways to increase your productivity. These are tips that are easy to overlook, but that should not be underestimated.
On Tuesday we explored the power of writing everything down.
Today, we’re going even simpler. Drink more water.
Americans are not drinking enough water.
Up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
That’s not great.
Some of this may be due to lack of access, but the vast majority of us have no problems with the availability of water. We just aren’t drinking enough of it.
And this is important! The majority of our bodies are water. The majority of our brains are water. Keeping ourselves properly hydrated keeps us functioning at 100%.
Drink to a Better You
There are plenty of health benefits to drinking more water. I’m sure you’ve heard most of them. And if not, well, let me google that for you.
Today I want to look at the productivity benefits that come along with drinking more water.
Even mild dehydration has proven effects on our mental abilities. Studies have shown that not getting enough water affects your mood and concentration. They’ve also shown that mild dehydration negatively affects your memory and increases anxiety and fatigue.
Think about how much more smoothly your day would go if you could concentrate better and had a stronger memory. Think about the number of times you have been slowed down or derailed by a bad mood, anxiety, or fatigue.
You can attack all of these in one fell swoop by drinking more water!
How Much is Enough?
The question, of course, is: How much water do I need?
I had always believed that you needed 64 ounces of water per day. This was from the common wisdom that you needed eight glasses of eight ounces.
Turns out there is no evidence to support that number.
The actual amount that you need varies person to person. However, the Mayo Clinic suggests that a good rule of thumb is thirteen cups (104 ounces) for men and nine cups (72 ounces) for women.
It is also important to note that these are baseline numbers. You should be drinking even more if you exercise, are in hot weather, or are sick, pregnant, or breastfeeding.
How to Drink More Water
For years I knew that I should be drinking more water. I often had good intentions to up my water intake, but they never stuck.
This year, I have finally succeeded.
Here are some of the tricks, tweaks, and habits I have found to be helpful.
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up. I prefer room temperature water, so I will pour a pint glass of water before I go to sleep and leave it in the living room. I drink it while going through my morning routine and have my first 16 ounces out of the way. (If you’re not a weirdo like me, feel free to pour yourself a nice cold glass of water instead.)
- Keep a water bottle at your desk, and refill it when it is empty. I have a 24 ounce reusable bottle with a filter built in. Keeping it full and next to me at my desk has led to a habit of picking it up and taking a sip as I pause for thought or while reading.
- Track your water intake. This has been the biggest factor for me. Personally, I track my water drinking in the Fitbit app, but there are a million ways that you can choose to do this. You could keep a spreadsheet, download another app, or just write it down in a notebook. Regardless of how you do it, make a note as you drink water and compare your day-to-day results.
By tracking your water intake you may find that you are part of the dehydrated 75% who is unintentionally handicapping themselves. This is easy to fix!
Grab a glass of water and start being more productive!