Good Health And Productivity Go Together
By TRISOFT team
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” — Buddha
People who manage to get their productivity levels higher every day aren’t superhuman; they’ve just mastered a few great habits, such as keeping organized, avoiding procrastination and managing their time neatly. But what we’ve found out and has inspired us to write this article is that the most productive thing of all has nothing to do with traditional productivity. And what is that? (heavy drums and cheery bells) …A healthy lifestyle!
It’s true, this revelation took a lot of experience and honestly, a lot of failed attempts. Unfortunately, it is not until you try oh so many other scenarios before occurring to you that going to bed early and waking up early might just be the answer you’ve been looking for. But since so many others have tried before us, maybe it’s time we took the shortest, wisest path to good productivity.
So yeah, healthy workers are indeed among the happiest and most productive at their jobs. There have been a lot of studies in the area and all of them have shown that employees in better overall shape have also reached higher performance and efficiency levels.
So studies say
The latest study on the matter revealed the following:
• Employees who ate healthful meals and exercised on a regular basis had better job performance and lower absenteeism.
• Employees who eat healthy all day long were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
• Employees who eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables at least four times a week were 20 percent more likely to be more productive.
• Employees who exercised for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, were 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
The opposite, of course, is also true: Poor health often results in lower job performance, productivity and attendance.
• Overall, absenteeism was 27 percent lower for those workers who ate healthy and exercised regularly. Their job performance was 11 percent higher than their peers who were obese.
• Overweight workers experienced lower job performance and higher absenteeism, compared to those employees who suffer from depression and other chronic diseases or conditions.
“Without personal health and wellness, people are less likely to be engaged in their work,” said Brian Shapland, general manager of Turnstone, a provider of office furniture. “Discomfort, pain, stress and emotional distress all take the focus off tasks and workplace relationships, resulting in a disconnect that can negatively impact both the worker and the company’s bottom line.”
So it’s obvious we need to start looking more after our health and well being, not only because that is the sane thing to do, but also because our professional lives will only benefit from it. Let’s see what we can do.
1. Move your cells.
They say that when you exercise, the body releases some very amazing hormones that make you happier, smarter and more energetic. Although the mechanisms aren’t fully understood yet, these chemicals, called neurotransmitters, seem to reduce the discomfort of working out and improve your mood almost instantly.
We all know that exercise improves the functioning of our heart, lungs, muscles and other bodily functions. What we don’t know is that it will also keep us mentally sharper. The explanation is purely scientific. Most of your cells contain components called mitochondria, often referred to as the cell’s “power plant.” Mitochondria produce the chemical that your body uses as energy, known as ATP. Physical exercise stimulates the development of new mitochondria within your cells, meaning that your body will be able to produce more ATP over time. That gives you more energy to exert yourself physically, but it also means more energy for your brain, boosting your mental output.
But don’t think that you have to sweat for hours a day in order to keep in shape. Moderate-intensity exercise will get you far and pretty soon. And you will see it on your own, that exercising is about a lot more than weight loss or staying in shape. Exercise helps improve all aspects of your life, including work productivity.
2. Nurture your body.
I know, you are busy and every day is a challenge, to say the least. But don’t take it all up with your poor body. Don’t waste every resource it has, until it’s completely depleted and there’s only room for exhaustion and despair. Take a moment to give something back also, to appreciate it and offer it what it needs to thrive.
For some it may just be enough to have plenty of water during the day and healthy meals. For others it may be about sleeping 7 or 8 hours a night and taking a nap in the afternoon. And others may appreciate a long bubbly bath or some lavender aromatherapy.
Whatever it is, find it and don’t hesitate to use it to your advantage. Nurturing your body will always come with relaxation and a lot of restored energy.
3. Nurture your spirit.
Now close your eyes and think about a safe place, a happy place. A place you would rather be when life is handing you lemons. Maybe it’s a sunny beach with white sand and green water. Or a snowy retreat up in the misty mountains. Or the loving arms of a spouse. Maybe you feel invigorated after going to church or meditating for half an hour. Or just playing with your kids or talking on the phone with your folks.
There is always something or someone who helps us to keep going and inspires us to breath and reboot whenever we feel like our energy is gone. So take a moment to find your happy place and remember to visit it each time your spirit needs nurturing. And that should be as often as possible.
4. Pause. Rest. Sleep.
I know we’ve said it a million times, so we’ll only mention it briefly — breaks are important, take enough breaks to feel like your work is well-structured. Also, sleep is essential — don’t think that you’re the only one who thought woking instead of sleeping is a good idea. You’re of course not the only one who has discovered that is not true. It can do a lot more harm than good.
Food, as well. I know complex carbohydrates are tasty, but you will discover you have more energy, you are more awake and a much better version of yourself if you lay low on the carbs and eat more fruit, seeds and vegetables. Okay, okay, add in the occasional (but not until after work) bowl of ice cream.
So eat, pause and rest the way that your body really needs it and your mind will benefit from it as well.
5. Stand up tall.
Did you ever feel that your thoughts are turning as sedentary as you are when you spend too many hours sitting? We have. And while researching we’ve found that many others have too.
So a few inventive guys have come up with solutions, like the Pomodoro method — sit for one work period of 25 minutes, stand for the next and then repeat. You can build yourself a standing desk out of stacked boxes or an old bookshelf or whatever your creativity leads you to.
Try something new to see if it works for you.
At TRISOFT, we are brave. We are confident. And we believe there is more than one good way to improve our productivity. But the wisest one will always be the one that keeps your physical and mental well being intact.
This article is only giving your a few hints on how to start. But remember, your strength lies within yourself and by experimenting and trusting your instincts you will find your perfect recipe.