Creating the perfect headspace to maximise productivity

By Jess Higgs | 30th Nov 2021

Only 21% of the UK workforce believe that they're genuinely productive for an entire workday.

While it's completely okay to have ebbs and flows in productivity, we all have days where we need to be a little more on the ball. So, if you're part of the 79% of us where that doesn't come naturally, then fear not. This blog post explores some of the next-gen brands, from Nootropic drinks to HealthTech apps that elevate your mood, creativity, and productivity.

Performance-boosting synthetic nootropics is a somewhat controversial topic, primarily surrounding ethics and potential side effects. However, natural nootropics is an exploding market, and entrepreneurs across the globe are scrambling to take advantage of the demand. New kid on the block and drinks brand, Peak, use natural nootropics like Guayusa to help boost brain function. Guayusa is something of a wunderplant containing both caffeine and an amino acid called L-Theanine, which research shows releases alpha brainwaves. While pure caffeine (like in coffee) gives you a boost, it's also linked to feelings of anxiety and nervousness. The theory with Guayusa is that alpha brainwaves from the L-Theanine enhance focus and creativity, and combine with the caffeine to give you that same boost but, critically, without the negative side effects. Essentially it's a cleaner, clearer kick compared to your morning coffee. Sign. us. up. Huckletree members can now get Peak in Vinny vending machines!

Many of us use meditation to help focus the mind, but in the inimitable words of the Dalai Lama, 'sleep is the best meditation'. The science is pretty clear on the impact sleep can have both in the short and long term on brain cognition; getting enough hours of high quality sleep each night helps with concentration levels, judgement, problem-solving, and creativity. Poor quality sleep negatively impacts all of the aforementioned and can, in the long term, lead to cognitive decline and dementia. Apps like RISE are pioneering a more accurate way of approaching how we think about sleep with the concept of sleep debt. The app combines phone data and its own proprietary technology to track how much sleep you owe your body and then provides tailored recommendations for how you can improve your sleep habits. The app also provides insights on your energy peaks and troughs, so you can plan out your activity to optimise productivity.

The CBD industry is now worth around £700million a year in the UK, and the positive effects of the non-psychoactive substance are many and wide-ranging, helping with everything from pain to seizures, migraines and sleep. However, the research is still comparatively new in scientific terms. CBD research also shows evidence for improving brain function by boosting the neural pathways involved in thought navigation, resulting in higher productivity. What is clear though, is that not all CBD supplements are created equal. For instance, drinks infused with CBD can be problematic because very little of the CBD is actually absorbed into your body after being broken down by the enzymes in your gut. Research suggests that an oil held under the tongue is the best way to take CBD, like those from UK startup fourfive cbd, which was founded by two professional sportsmen, raised pre-seed investment earlier this year and mainlines in high-quality oils and balms.

For a more one-stop-shop approach to boosting performance in the workplace, the mental health app Unmind is specifically targeted at businesses that take the wellbeing of their workforce seriously. The tools they offer span meditation, CBT, yoga and sleep, and are designed to help companies to foster a strong company culture to drive performance. Since its inception in 2016, Unmind has raised over $63m and works with brands such as John Lewis, British Airways and Uber.

So there you have it, a few next-gen supplements and apps to help you go forth and be your most productive, efficient self.