Productivity Hacks: It’s All in the Eyes [By Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group]

One of the things that helped improve my productivity more than anything was right in front of my eyes all along: it was my glasses.If you look at any of the early photos from Virgin’s history, you are likely to see yours truly wearing some (very fetching, if I do say so myself!) spectacles.

When we started out in business running Student Magazine, I did a lot of reading while editing the magazine, interviewing artists like Mick Jagger and researching potential advertisers. However, I had a lot of trouble seeing from longer distances, as well as reading long reams of material (as well as my dyslexia, it may also have had something to do with being young and having a short attention span!)

Nevertheless, the problem continued as we began building the Virgin Group. As I got older my eyesight began to deteriorate and I was still required to read huge amounts on everything from recording artist contracts to business pitches. In later life, I began wearing contact lenses for reading, but they didn’t really do the trick.

Then one day it was pointed out to me that I could just wear one reading lens in one eye, rather than wearing glasses. The brain naturally adjusts, and I am now able to read easily without the niggle of wearing glasses or having to feel old before my time! It has made reading far quicker, more comfortable and fruitful.

While some people have 20/20 vision, and many people will have differing eyesight that can be helped in different ways, concentrating on your eyesight can help you be far more productive. For those who struggle with eyesight, it’s also worth keeping a close watch on the progress of a pioneering new gene injection that could prevent thousands of people from going blind through old age.

As so many of us spend hours glued to our mobile, laptop or tablet screens, if you aren’t careful you can damage your creativity as well as your eyes. By resting your eyes from the screen you can also relax your mind and create the space to come up with new ideas.

Look at your emails in bursts, don’t constantly check them all day or you will never get anything done. Manage your mobile, don’t let it manage you. And remember to look after your body – including your eyes! You’ll soon see you get lots more done, feel healthier and can read all about it.



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