Thinking About Your Health Can Make You More Productive
Even if you have a lot of structure in your day and you have mastered every time management tip out there, it really won’t do you much good if you don’t have the physical energy to get through your day.
There is a great book that I would highly recommend reading called The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. The book talks about how managing your energy, not your time, is the key to enduring high performance as well as to health, happiness, and life balance.
Here are a few of the simple concepts that they cover in the book that you can use immediately to get more productive.
Get Healthy and Practice What You Preach
Nothing will negatively impact your productivity as much as illness or injury. You tell the people in the group that you are working with to take care of themselves, don’t you? Practice what you preach by working out, stretching, eating right, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep every day. Getting more fit will help your productivity by increasing your energy, stamina, and will prevent you from having to miss work time being sick.
Eat For Consistent Energy
I don’t want you to just get through your workday. I want you to have the energy to get done what you need to get done in the office and then still have enough energy to go home and play with your kids or pursue a hobby, hang out with friends, or whatever. You physically won’t be able to do that if you are too exhausted from work. If you want to prolong great spurts of energy and decrease sluggish times during the day, a great way to do that is with better quality food. Do you know which foods give keep you full and give you great energy? Do you eat breakfast? Do you pack a healthy lunch? Do you have healthy snacks? I would highly recommend keeping a food log of what and when you are eating and how you are feeling during the course of the day. This will give you great information that you can use to keep tweaking what and when you are eating until you find the foods that will help keep your energy levels up during the course of the day.
It’s been proven in many studies that taking short 10-15 minute breaks will increase productivity. To make sure you take breaks during the day, I recommend setting a timer that goes off every hour. Every time the timer rings, stand up before you turn it off. And once you are standing, get moving. Do something physical for five minutes. I get up to go to the bathroom, take a quick lap around the building, plan to run an errand or 2 during this time, get up to stretch, or walk around and talk to people for a moment...just do something that refreshes you for just a few minutes. You will be amazed at how much more energy and focus you have just by taking a few short mini-breaks throughout the day.
Now, I get it, it can be hard to fit in a workout with so much to do, yes it is easier to pick up a donut while you are getting coffee, and that sometimes you get busy doing things so you forget to take a break once in a while. All of these things, while easier to not do than find the time to do, are hurting your productivity and health in the long run.
If you don’t have the energy to get done what you need to, these are just 3 different health related ideas that you can use. There are many many more out there. I have found that while these are common knowledge, they are not common practice. Be intentional about your energy and pretty immediately you should start seeing increases in your productivity.