What are the best daily routines of highly productive people? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by MacLean Gander, writer and teacher, on Quora:

Highly productive people often have unusual routines that are personal to them. For example, some people are able to get by on only a small amount of sleep for long periods of time, or stick to strange diets-the great baseball hitter Wade Boggs ate mainly chicken.

But all the research indicates that the following factors best support the brain in its work:

  1. Get enough sleep every night-at least six hours, and preferably nine.
  2. Drink water frequently during the day.
  3. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and other unwholesome substances, except in moderation.
  4. Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, and spread meals throughout the day-six small samplings are healthier than one or two big meals and a couple of snacks.
  5. Get at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. This can just be a walk or climbing some stairs, or even doing housework. The main idea is to make sure to elevate the pulse and respiration.
  6. Avoid sitting for too long at any one time, and in general, avoid sitting and lying as much as possible. Your body needs to be active for your brain to be active.
  7. Make a habit of having a time each day to consider your work, your goals, and your plans, and to organize your coming schedule around your priorities-this is sort of mental exercise that can help you stay focused on large ambitions rather than small, local tasks, even while you make sure you take care of those tasks.
  8. Incorporate a period of meditation or mindfulness into each day, preferably in the morning after you wake, or in the evening before you sleep, where you quiet your mind and become as fully aware of your being as you can.

One important point is that the discipline is not to be perfect, but instead, to have a clear sense of what your goal is, and make sure everything you do supports that goal-including things like sleep and diet. But it does not have to be perfect-the key is to get to a level where it is working for you and you are advancing your aims.

I hope this is useful.

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