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10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

How productive are you in your most commonly inhabited environments? For most of us, this is either work or home. By making sure that your surroundings are conducive to healthy decisions and actions, you can boost your weight loss productivity and really entrench healthy habits and a healthy living mindset. Here are some ideas for your office and your home.

Home

Reorganise your pantry. One of the first things I did when I started losing weight was clear all the crap out of my pantry. Believe me, just not having it there makes a huge difference–we’ve all mindlessly chewed our way through a whole pack of biscuits without actually being starving hungry to begin with.

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Make treats hard to get. Try to reach a stage where it is possible to have treats in the house without needing to eat them all at once. It’s important not to deprive yourself of everything that you love! Just try making it difficult to access in order to lessen the temptation to eat it–put that pack of biscuits right at the top of your tallest cupboard.

Make your workout clothes accessible. If they are easy to grab and throw on, you can start making that mental adjustment when it comes to exercise, turning it from something you don’t like to something you might actually enjoy.

Get some home workout equipment. Working out at home is easy, cheap and fun. It’s also a great opportunity to practise moves you’re not sure about or feel too self-conscious to attempt in a gym or park. Buy some dumbbells and an exercise mat and stash them in a corner of your living room–by making it easy to do some exercise at home, you’re more likely to give it a go.

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Hang up some motivating photos or outfits. Maybe you’ve got a pair of beloved jeans you want to fit into again, or a photo of yourself 10 kilos smaller that’s really motivating you to lose weight. Put those things–things that form part of your motivational toolkit–somewhere prominent, so you’re always being reminded of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Work

Get moving. Visit the toilet that’s one level up from you in your office building, go and stand outside to get some air, take phone calls standing up–every hour or so, if you can, do something that makes you get up from your desk and move around.

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Drink glasses of water. Aside from the obvious health benefits of drinking lots of water, refilling a glass several times a day is a good way to get up from your desk regularly–water also helps keep hunger at bay.

Stock up on healthy snacks. Avoid the vending machine temptation and fill a drawer with things like raw nuts so you’ve got something healthy to snack on. Go one step further and pack yourself little portions of nuts so that you don’t end up chowing down on a whole bag!

Fill the work fridge with healthy lunch foods. If you’ve got access to a work fridge, fill it with healthy lunch ingredients–cottage cheese, avocado, lean protein–so you can make yourself a healthy lunch at work.

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Ask for a standing desk. These are becoming more common and widely available, and they’re a great solution to the increasingly talked about health risks of sitting down all day. Chat to your boss or HR and see if you can get one–and if you can’t, then try to move around at work as much as you can.

Make your environment conducive to healthy behaviour, and it will naturally follow. It’s productive, it’s practical and it’s easy!

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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