Over the past few posts we have talked about a number of different ways to increase your skill toolbox as a leader. A fact of life is that no matter how skillful you are ‘stuff’ still needs to get done.
So here you are; productivity tips for all you virtual workers out there that still have a to-do list miles long. I have split this into two sections I feel it is that important. Because of the nature of our virtual world and the people I work with I wanted to start with the body….doubt you expected that one.
Lack of focus, energy and mistakes are often associated with too much work; maybe. Though here is something worth considering. Your mind and body are connected and if you don’t nourish one the other will suffer. So let’s start with that ‘thing’ that is most important: Our physical being.
Let’s start at the beginning, get enough sleep. I had painful experiences of the effect lack of sleep could have when I had my two children. Concentration would slip, I was grumpy (yes even me!) and I just couldn’t seem to focus. The to do list I normally whipped through just seemed to go on and on.
The good news is sleepless nights and children don’t last forever. However as adults we need to develop good sleep patterns. The facts are if you are tired you will make mistakes and you won’t be productive at all, I guarantee it.
Go to bed earlier and ‘power down’ for at least an hour before you hit the sack. In other words don’t jump on email or open your laptop to start researching the presentation you are delivering next week! It is going to stimulate your mind. You will be processing new information just when you should be switching off; oh and no mobiles in the bedroom. To tempting to take a peek.
Yes the e word. It is good for the mind and the soul it enables you to do something different and rejuvenate your body. It does not have to be hours in the gym either. How about a walk in the fresh air. You could even set a goal around it and build it into a routine. Routines work by the way; more about that another time.
This is not a lecture from Dr. Julia! Typically the virtual teams I work with spend hours sitting down and often forget to eat or, worse still, grab something that could not be described as nutritious by any stretch of the imagination.
Many readers of this blog know exactly what good nutrition looks like. Less processed and more natural food and at regular intervals. Less processed carbs will give you more energy too.
Water not caffeine
Ideally you should drink a minimum of one litre of water per 50lbs of body weight. Yes even I was shocked. Most of us are dehydrated more than we realise. And water doesn’t include those endless cups of coffee you drink. Recently I went on a detox for a couple of weeks and gave up caffeine. Yes it was a challenge and yet somehow my body felt better afterwards. Caffeine isn’t great for our bodies especially when it comes to our concentration.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Something quite different to finish on. For those of you that know me well you might be surprised that I would mention these two activities. Years back they were virtually unheard of and today they are main stream; because they work. For a short amount of time everything gets simple and it is a time to experience some stillness in a busy world.
Not convinced? Jump onto Google and visit a number of NHS webpages that validate the findings that meditation reduces our stress level. No you don’t need to be crossed legged in an Ashram. How about sitting in your favourite chair with your eyes closed and just breathe slow and deep. Do this for a week and you will feel different.
In part 2 next week I am going to cover some strategies I have been implementing myself with excellent results that have taken my own productivity to a new level.
Till next time,