I’m a walking productivity experiment.

I like to try new things and find new ways to increase my productivity. Then I bring you the results and let you decide whether or not to implement these things in your life.

I’ve been doing three new things that have really been working to make my life more productive and actually, all three of these are saving me money too.

These are kind of random, but brilliant and you won’t find these all over the internet like most tips. Here’s what I’ve been doing…

1. James Bond Showers

You may have read about the benefits of cold showers, but have you heard of a James Bond shower? I first read about them on The Art of Manliness and this is how they work:

  1. Turn the water on to hot temperature.
  2. Wash your hair and your body like normal.
  3. When you’re ready to rinse, turn the water to cold.
  4. Turn off the shower. Step out. Feel amazing. Look like this:

James Bond Showers
So why are these showers so awesome, or more importantly, why are they so productive? Well there are several reasons to take cold showers and you can read those here, here and here. I’m not going to bombard you with the information you can get all over the internet, but here is what I have noticed since I started taking James Bond showers (or cold showers in general):

  • I feel more alert.
  • My energy levels significantly increase for hours.
  • I spend less time in the shower, since the water is cold.
  • Therefore, I save money by using less water (especially less hot).
  • This may just be a mind game, but they seem to put me in a good mood.

I feel better overall when I take them and it’s still this way after several months. I can’t recommend them enough. Just try it a few times and see if you notice a difference. If you do, you’re welcome. If not, just go back to your regular old boring hot showers.

2. Activating Caffeine

If you have ever ingested caffeine while you were sitting down and remained sitting down, you probably noticed that it didn’t do much for you. Sure, it may keep you from falling asleep, but it most likely didn’t make you feel any more energetic. There’s a reason for this…

Caffeine has a much stronger affect when you start moving after taking it. If you wake up and get caffeine in one form or another, try doing a quick set of jumping jacks or going for a brief run or a brisk walk. You’ll notice almost immediately that the caffeine basically activates.

Here’s how well this has worked for me:

I used to drink two cups of coffee each morning, then it went to three, four and I ultimately realized I had a problem at six cups. It wasn’t the coffee’s fault. It was doing its job, but I was just sitting there drinking an entire pot of coffee, so I wasn’t getting the full benefit.

Now I have changed two things. First, I bought this amazing Aeropress Coffee Maker, which is super cheap, easy to use and only takes a few minutes to brew…

Aeropress Coffee Maker

Aeropress Instructions

Next I started consuming only one cup of coffee (granted there will be a little more caffeine in coffee made with an Aeropress), but I started doing 10 minutes of exercise soon after I finished my cup. Not only does this mean I’m consuming less coffee and caffeine, but I’m also saving money by not buying as much coffee in the first place.  This all just one more way to use caffeine more effectively.

Exercise can increase the affects of caffeine and I highly suggest taking caffeine before you workout; however, you don’t want to overdo it. Too much caffeine before an extended workout can rapidly increase your heart rate to unsafe levels. The bottom line: don’t be an idiot.

3. Eating the Same Meals

I recently started a new diet to lose a few pounds and to write about the results (walking experiment, remember?). Well so far, I’ve lost 17 pounds and I’m just now in my fourth week. Also, I’m feeling great while doing it. I’m tracking all my results and I’ll be writing about it soon, but for now, I just want to go over the productivity part of this diet.

I’m eating the same meals over and over again. It seems that most successful dieters who planned to lose fat and/or gain muscle have had the best results by eating the same meals over and over again.

This works in a few ways to make me more productive:

  1. Meal-time decisions. I literally only have to think about what I’m going to eat when I cook my meals, which is only a few times per week – I can cook in bulk since I know I’ll be eating the same few meals again and again.
  2. Less cooking time. Since I am cooking in bulk, I only spend a few hours each week in the kitchen. Not only am I not having to decide what to eat, but I can cook my food faster in general. It just takes cooking a few meals to have my food for the entire week.
  3. It saves money. Buying food in bulk is a common tip for saving money, but often it doesn’t make sense – especially if the food is going to go bad before you use it. When you’re eating the same meals over and over, you can buy in bulk and know it will get used.

If you try some of these things, I would love to know your results!  Please share in the comments!

Photo Credit: Michael Dales
Drawing Credit: ercansebat

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or medical professional in any way, shape or form. This is purely for informational use and should not be taken as medical advice.