In this time poor but stress rich society we live in, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. This is likely contributing to the rising rate of depression and anxiety.
We now spend the majority of our lives working and with the progression of technology and the ever connected world, it has become difficult to manage and disconnect. With technological advancements the norm has shifted, the 9-5 pm no longer exists!
With smartphones our emails, phone calls and overwhelming workloads slowly start to seep into our personal lives outside of the office. This is not all bad but this is the new reality we face and something that currently needs to be addressed
Our aim for this article is to arm you with easily implementable strategies that will not only allow you to cope with this new reality but perform at a higher level with minimal to no outlayed cost but massive return on your time investment.
- Remove LED Blue Light
Light is a nutrient that plays a significant role in signaling your mitochondria (cellular powerhouses) to spring into action.
Different light frequencies trigger different signals in your cells. Blue light which mostly comes from LED lights places the body under a significant amount of stress.
Newer artificial light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need. Artificial lights, have eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet light found in natural sunlight, and are amplifying the blue light beyond anything we have evolved to handle. Most LEDs and compact fluorescents emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to.
Where to start:
Reduce blue light or what is now known as Junk light in your workplace. Download a bluelight filter app like F.LUX for digital devices (Mobile & laptop) and switch all the lights in the office to halogen and incandescent. They aren’t perfect, but they’re better. Your white LEDs might be saving your power bill but they are sapping yours and your staffs energy levels which in the long term is costing you a lot more!
This is especially important if working late at night as it will greatly impact sleep!
- Workstations: Sit to Stand Desks
With all the craze of standing desks at the moment, may fool you into thinking standing is better than sitting desks. However, believe it or not standing can be just as detrimental as sitting all day!
Our body’s are not designed to remain in one position for long periods of time, we are designed for locomotion. Therefore, instead of one being better than the other we want the ability to shift between sitting and standing on regular periods, to keep the body moving and using a wider range of muscles instead of overusing a specific muscle group.
If it is not viable in your current workplace to replace traditional desks with sit to stand desk. No stress! Set up a few hot desks around the workplace that will increase the options to those who want the ability to stand
- Introduce Walking meetings:
Join some of the best minds in the world including: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Aristotle, & Sigmund Freud. All were renowned for their walking meetings.
We are sitting on average 9.3 hours per day are we are only getting 7.7 hours of sleep! The human body is designed for locomotion and we are now sitting more than we are sleeping. When is the movement happening?
Sitting is killing us! The World Health Organisation(WHO) has even listed sitting to much as the 4th leading cause of death globally, that is 3,200,000 deaths annually!! A recent study even stated that sitting for 10 hours a day can cancel out 90% of a positive effects of a 1 hour workout! Some other interesting stats associated with sitting for more than 10 hours a day include:
- 112% increase in risk of diabetes
- 147% increase in cardiovascular events
- 90% increase in death due to cardiovascular events
- 49% increase in death due to any cause.
Get moving with walking or standing meetings and watch the creativity and engagement thrive. Even better move them outside to add in fresh air, sun (Vitamin D) along with nature. Why nature? Nature and changes of scenery trigger new neuro-pathways in our brains which yield new ideas, and new solutions to problems. I am sure we have all experienced this at one point or another.
- Remote / Flexible Work Hours
In the coming years with the development of technology bringing the world closer together remote based work will become the norm. Technology is changing the way business is functioning and those who adapt to these trends will reap the rewards.
Businesses who really want to future proof their success need to consider how this can be established across their workforce and within their workplace.
It has been shown that a workplaces that offers flexibility around were their staff can work will have staff that have the following characteristics:
- Greater job satisfaction
- Increased productivity
- Decreased stress
- Plus they often work more hours as a result of this freedom.
- Mindfulness, Become Present:
What is Mindfulness? It is a practice that teaches you to detach yourself from both the past and future and become truly present in the moment.
Sadly in this fast moving world we are losing this ability to be present, this is even more prevalent with ever increasing workloads.We cannot reduce our the past nor can we change what will happen in the future, but if we truly want to be productive with the task at hand we need to be truly present in the now. In our opinion this skill is one of the leading, if not the best productivity booster!
Where to Start?
There are many ways to train mindfulness from breathing, instructor guided practice to self guided practice.
I suggest everyone begins with an instructor guided practice to help educate and help grasp an understanding around mindfulness. There are a number apps that offer a free trials and then lead into a paid version (eg. Headspace, Calm). Test each of them out and find the one that suits you. At the cost of less than 2 coffees a month (Calm: $4.99/month; Headspace: $7.99/month) what do you have to lose? I personally have tried majority of the apps on the market but Headspace was favorite due to it customizability. I highly recommend upgrading to paid versions as it becomes a lot more personalised and you can select packages that you require as you progress and it often offers further education. This will give you the skills you required to make your mindfulness practice easy and stress free.
I have talked about mindfulness extensively in other articles if you want to learn more follow these links:
If you are passionate about performance and the health in the workplace these 5 simple strategies will make a profound effect and future proof your business. It all starts with a solid foundation and with inmproved health comes improved performance.