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Extra Pounds Kill Productivity: Hack Your Office’s Health

Extra Pounds Kill Productivity: Hack Your Office’s Health

Think your team is better off putting in an extra hour of work this evening than going to the gym? Think again.

The sedentary desk lifestyle affects more than your team’s health—it’s also hurting your company’s bottom line. Here’s why you switch your mindset and focus on productivity hacks to whip your team into shape.

Extra Weight Holds Your Company Back

In 2010, obesity cost the United States $73 billion, the culprit being lost productivity due to poor health.

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We are all well-aware of the consequences that come with being overweight: a higher body mass index puts people at risk of heart problems, cancer, diabetes, and even injuries. Those extra pounds zap your energy and make you feel exhausted. When you’re not exercising, you’re more likely to get sick, which means more days off for you and your team and less time spent building your business.

The thing is, you can’t blame overweight employees. How can you? They’re the ones putting in 50+ hour weeks to build your company’s products and help bring your team to success. They can’t escape sitting at a computer all day, and as soon as they get home, they’re too exhausted to cook healthy meals and work out. Not to mention, gym memberships aren’t always cheap. (This is one of the reasons we bring in free, organic lunches for our staff at Contactzilla!)

We’re dependent on technology to stay productive, and it’s hard to step away when we’re in the middle of launching new campaigns or getting close to launch day. Passion gets the best of us, but it’s also holding us back. Slowly but surely, all of that desk time will kill our stamina.

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Losing Weight is About Everyday Decisions

Look, there’s more to weight loss than whether you can trim down from a size 16 to a size 2. At the end of the day, numbers mean nothing compared to how you feel: after all, not everyone is built to be super skinny. People of all shapes and sizes need to find the right balance for them, which can feel scary and daunting but is actually much easier than you think.

Weight management starts with gradual change, not sudden shock treatment. It’s about developing new routines and sticking to your commitments.  Get lunch together (or bring it in for your team), have meetings while taking a walk, and encourage employees to go home earlier (or come in later) so they can spend some time exercising.

One of the best things your employees can do to get healthy is plan meals. Don’t make them do it alone. Encourage more office lunches, this way you (or someone at your office) can do the planning for them. As tough as it sounds, get rid of the sodas and juices from your office and replace them with tea and water instead. In many cases, you’re probably already spending money on snacks—prioritize healthy ones.

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A Healthy Office is a Productive Office

To build a healthier office, you need to implement change at the group level. Change shouldn’t be limited to one person because the success or failure of your organization depends on team productivity. Start by implementing a wellness program to help all of your employees get more active: This means encouraging healthy behaviors such as eating right, exercising, and quitting smoking.

Remember that mental, financial, and family health fits into the equation, too. Our bodies are part of larger systems, and if one element is out of sync, others will follow suit.

Don’t Forget To Take Preventative Measures

Make sure to focus on preventative care and education too. When employees are informed, they will be empowered to make healthier life choices. Bring the doctor to the office, and invest in incentive programs for an extra level of encouragement. It’s worth it. So jump in. The time to start getting healthier was yesterday.

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What do you do in your office to encourage a healthy lifestyle and physical activity? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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