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5 Meditative Chair Exercises Guaranteed To Promote Work Productivity

5 Meditative Chair Exercises Guaranteed To Promote Work Productivity

Sitting on a computer all day to work can become a real pain in the neck (or back) if you don’t take regular breaks. Choosing to not get up and instead plow through your work often leads to fatigue, poor posture, and repetitive strain injuries of the wrists and arms.

Taking regular breaks through out your day to stretch or move around not only moves the blood around your body, it also provides your brain with a chance to recharge, so you can return to work more focused and productive.

More productive ways to spend your breaks include going outside to get fresh air, walking around the block or through a park, and drinking water. However, if you are pushed for time and limited by weather an even more optimal way to spend your break is to stretch your body and focus on your breathing.

Stretching your body elongates your muscles and gets rid of tightness from sitting in a fixed position. Slowing down and focusing on your breath controls your thoughts, emotions, and in turn reality.

As a entrepreneurial lifestyle coach and meditation teacher, I have seen the most success with office workers when teaching this basic set of five Kundalini warm up exercises, modified for a desk chair. Not only can these exercises be completed in five minutes, all my clients report feeling more relaxed and focused afterwards.

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Schedule in your calendar two breaks throughout the day, I recommend 10am and 4pm and spend a few minutes going through these meditative exercises. Close your eyes, relax and enjoy. What have you got to lose, except your stress and fatigue?

1. Spinal Flex

Meditation_SpinalTwist

    Benefits:
    This exercise stimulates and stretches the lower and mid-spine. It improves emotional balance and promotes better flow of energy between the lower and higher centers of the body by opening up your solar plexus chakra (below your heart).

    How it’s done:
    1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
    2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
    3. While keeping your head straight and eyes looking forward, inhale and press your chest forward so you arch the bottom of your spine.
    4. As you exhale and remain looking forward with a straight head and curl your spine down and relax your shoulders.
    5. Continue rhythmically with deep breaths for 1 – 3 minutes.
    6. To end inhale, exhale, and relax.

    2. Sufi Grinds

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    Meditation_SufiGrind

      Benefits:
      This yoga exercise massages all your important digestive organs and forces toxins and waste out into the elimination systems of your body. It also warms up and loosens the lumbar area of the back.

      How it’s done:

      1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
      2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
      3. While keeping your head still, grind your stomach over to your right knee and continue in a big circular motion moving left (counter clockwise). Once you are halfway through start moving in the opposite direction (clockwise).
      4. Visualize drawing a big circle with your navel.
      5. Inhale as your body moves forward and exhale as you move backwards.
      6. Continue for 1 – 3 minutes.
      7. To end inhale, exhale, and relax.

      3. Spinal Twist

      Meditation_SpinalFlex

        Benefits:
        This exercise promotes flexibility in your entire back and massages the inner organs. It also opens up the heart center and stimulates the upper spine.

        How it’s done:

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        1. Sit with a tall spine.
        2. Grab your shoulders, with the thumbs in back and the fingers in front.
        3. Keep your elbows high, with your arms parallel to the ground.
        4. Inhale as you twist the head and torso to the left.
        5. Exhale as you twist to the right.
        6. Keep repeating with a powerful breath for 1 – 3 minutes.
        7. To end inhale facing straight forward, exhale and relax.

        4. Shoulder shrugs

        Meditation_ShoulderShrugs

          Benefits:
          This exercise releases tension in the shoulders. Opens the upper spine and energizes the heart and throat centers.

          How it’s done:

          1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
          2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
          3. Inhale and shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
          4. Exhale and drop the shoulders down.
          5. Continue rhythmically with powerful breathing for 1 – 2 minutes.
          6. To end inhale, exhale and relax.

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          5. Neck Rolls

          Meditation_NeckRoll

            Benefits:
            This exercise releases tension in the neck and shoulders, stimulates the thyroid, and promotes better blood flow to the brain.

            How it’s done:

            1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
            2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on your thighs.
            3. Begin rolling the neck clockwise in a circular motion, bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder, the back of the head toward the back of the neck, the left ear toward the left shoulder and the chin towards the chest.
            4. The shoulders remain relaxed and motionless and the neck should be allowed to gently stretch as the head circles around.
            5. Continue for 1 or 2 minutes, then reverse the direction and continue for 1 or 2 minutes more.
            6. To end, bring the head to a central position and relax.

            Featured photo credit: Binary Koala via flickr.com

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            Kelly Weiss

            Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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            Last Updated on January 6, 2021

            14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

            14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

            Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

            In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

            For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

            For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

            Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

            Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

            Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

            How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

            Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

            1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

            Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

            For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

            2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

            Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

            Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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            Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

            3. Create a System

            Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

            This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

            You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

            Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

            Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

            4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

            We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

            If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

            Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

            Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

            5. Use a Ratings Scale

            Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

            Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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            It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

            6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

            This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

            You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

            You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

            7. Offer Feedback Forms

            Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

            First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

            Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

            You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

            8. Track Cost Effectiveness

            This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

            Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

            Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

            9. Use Self-Evaluations

            Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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            Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

            10. Monitor Time Management

            This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

            Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

              The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

              While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

              11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

              We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

              Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

              For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

              Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

              Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

              From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

              12. Utilize Peer Feedback

              This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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              Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

              Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

              It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

              13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

              When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

              Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

              Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

              14. Use an External Evaluator

              Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

              They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

              While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

              Final Thoughts

              These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

              The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

              The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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              Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

              Reference

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