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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 July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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