Guest Blog By: Yvette Peterson - The Tribal Mama
Are you caught in the Busy Spiral? I find so many business owners wearing "very busy" like a badge of honor but end up finding themselves caught in a downward spiral which ends in being run down, getting sick or losing focus and concentration during their workday. Just to make it clear - busy does not necessarily equal productive.
How do you hack through The Busy Spiral to find the most productive you? Well, crazy as it may seem the answer is adding more things to your busy schedule.
Here are my top four life additions that will help you to get the most out of your workday:
Contrary to what we used to believe, scientific research has now shown that the brain is anything but inactive during rest times. That's why often the best idea you've had all day comes to you while you are taking a shower or falling asleep. It is essential for the brain to rest in order for you to be productive. Taking time to do some meditation during your day, getting a good nights sleep, taking a short break from the computer every 30 minutes and avoiding social media and emails during your downtime will help you to achieve an increased level of focus and efficiency when you require it.
Moving is essential to being healthy and productive. Exercise releases endorphins which improve your mood and relieve stress and tension. Exercise also improves muscle strength which boosts your endurance. Recent scientific research has shown that you don't have to spend hours in the gym in order to feel the benefits of exercise on your productivity levels. Just 15 minutes of exercise can improve your focus for a number of hours afterward. You can get a really great work out, lift your heart rate and build up a sweat in 10 to 15 minutes at home. If you have a smartphone there are various apps which can help with that - one of my favorites is the Mark Lauren Body weight training app. Break this up with days where you may take a longer brisk walk preferably in the sunshine, or use an app like Couch to 5K to start a running program. Make sure you take regular stretch breaks when working and if you have a day where you have not been able to schedule a block of time for exercise just build it into your workday. For example you could challenge yourself to do 5 squats every time you get out of your chair, or 10 push-ups every time you have a bathroom break.
NOURISH YOUR BODY & YOUR BRAIN
Your body is an incredible machine but you need to fuel it properly in order for it to function properly. Even a Ferrari will eventually break down without good fuel and servicing. Many business owners eat at their desks, choosing whatever is closest to hand to fill them up fastest in order to get on with the job. Often those are processed carbohydrates or sugary snacks. These kinds of foods release glucose into your bloodstream very quickly allowing you about 20 minutes of increased alertness and satiety. After that your glucose drops very rapidly, draining you of your energy and focus and leaving you feeling like you need a mid-afternoon nap. This type of eating also tends to lead to weight gain and increased risk of illness. To combat this try and include good quality protein, vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oil or avocados at every meal to improve your health and keep your blood sugar levels (and your attention span) steady throughout the day,
You have a much better chance of accomplishing any goal if you plan it out. Schedule time for your meals, exercise and meditation as you would any other appointment. Book in your bedtime and make it a goal to stick to it. Schedule social media time and block off time to check e-mails in batches. If you are someone who is easily distracted it helps to turn off notifications for social media and email so you can concentrate without being led off task.
So if you're too busy to do anything for yourself, too busy to find time to exercise, to rest, to eat right or to plan, you may be too busy to actually get anything done.
Right now walk away from your computer. Take a break, have a green smoothie, do a couple of squats, breathe and then get productive!
Yvette Peterson, aka The Tribal Mama is a health and wellness coach, wife and mom from Brisbane, Australia. Her journey into wellness began with the search to help her eldest daughter with behavioral and concentration problems through nutrition. The changes made to their lifestyle dramatically impacted the rest of the family in such a positive way with reduction in weight-loss, migraines, digestive problems to name a few and increase in health and vitality. That ignited Yvette's passion to learn as much as she can about nutrition and health and coaching others to better health and fullness of life.