48I have always wondered how much work life and healthy lifestyle compete with each other for one's focus and attention. If you're working intensively with a lot of overtime for an extended period, chances are that you'll want to skip meals, drink a lot of coffee and/or energy drinks, you won't be willing to spend an hour or so in the gym, you'll probably have problems with the sleep and step by step you'll develop some more general health problems. And ultimately this will cripple your performance in the long run.
This is of course all so very logical, but we tend to neglect it in favor of short-term productivity gains. People, however, are no freight trains – when we extend ourselves too hard for too long we inevitably lose our stamina and it's only a matter of several weeks to reduce our productivity to catastrophic levels and to become a constant threat to ourselves, our organization and the people around us:
More on this topic here.
There are many aspects contributing to one's prime performance. We already shared some insights on the topic of stress management. We will also examine self-motivation, mindset, will power, time and task management in the future. But let's continue with our own foundation for now – the physical level. The fact is that if we constantly neglect it, we won't have the required energy and cognitive potential to reach our peak performance level.48 1
My old biology teacher used to say: "We human beings are designed to move. The moment we stop moving, we start dying!"
There are many activities that could help us here: from the right way of breathing, through meditation, to regular physical exercises. And while the first two are a little bit specific and not everyone is interested in mastering them, the exercises are something that everyone can relate to: for some it's the gym, for many others it's yoga, martial arts, hiking, bicycling or just football. :)
Now, whatever it is for you, the mastery is to consciously and consistently incorporate it into your everyday life, in order to sustain maximum work performance over time. This is of course a lot easier said than done and many of us still struggle with the "either-or" behavior. How do you motivate yourself to train in the evenings in the middle of the workweek, when your only desire is to go home, eat, have a shower and bury yourself under the blanket?! Let's examine some practical advice, working for different people:
• It doesn't necessarily have to be after work: many people are rather morning persons and prefer to get up 2 hours earlier, jog around the neighborhood or go to the gym and only after that to prepare for the office
• You don't have to be necessarily willing to do it: don't overthink IF you want to go train – this doesn't matter! Just do it! Consider it as a part of your mandatory schedule (the most effective for me). It's like brushing your teeth for example – you do it as a daily routine, whether you like it or not.
• If you feel tired at the end of the day, don't think about how much you don't want to train – just focus on how good you will feel afterwards (that's Presiyan's favorite)
• Many people benefit from motivational videos or music to light up the adrenaline fire right before the training.
• You could consider it as part of your core responsibilities for yourself, the people around you and to your organization – it's up to you to be your best at home and at work!
• 15 minutes of training are indefinitely better than 0! Even if you don't feel like spending an entire hour of your day in the gym or yoga class just start with baby steps. 15 minutes are absolutely OK and you could carry on if you'd like to. More often than not you will overachieve your initial time targets, so satisfaction is guaranteed. :)
These are all individual examples that work for different people. Please share with us what works best for you!
Best regards,

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