Clare Kumar's Productivity Tips for the Marathon of Business

Whenever I consult with an entrepreneur or employee on productivity at work, I encourage stepping back a little bit and looking holistically at their approach. As you might anticipate, we look at how to arrange the office and how to manage time. We also examine what I call the “Wellness Approach to Work”.

As the late, much-respected, Stephen Covey wrote in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it is important to “sharpen the saw”. Simply put, you have to take care of yourself.  If you are not devoting time to sustain your physical and mental health, productivity and peace of mind will take a direct hit.

Here are ideas to consider for the most productive and pleasing body, mind and spirit.

  1. Physical Health

Keep your body fit for work through stretching and strengthening exercises. If your job is sedentary, include physical breaks throughout the workday. Fitness breaks are not only good for your body, they also improve your thinking.

Pay attention to ergonomics in the office. Ergonomics is about the way your body interacts with the furniture and tools necessary to complete  the work.  Keep your body in positive postures, adding support where necessary. Watch out for repetitive motions, such as typing, which can cause Repetitive Strain Injuries. Keep forces low (i.e. lighter touches to the keyboard) and positions neutral (i.e. flat wrists).

  1. Mental Health

Your mind needs taking care of, too. Maximizing cognitive and creative abilities requires that you manage stress levels. Something as simple as a walk outside, preferably in nature, has been shown to improve results on cognitive tests.

Think about how you feed your brain. Provide nutrition throughout the day in the form of healthy snacks.  Keep hydrated, too, by keeping a glass of water at your desk.

Ensure adequate rest.  The average amount of sleep we get has dropped over the years. As well, we are challenging our ability to move into sleep cycles naturally with overstimulation from light sources such as smartphones and tablets before bed.  A rested mind is a productive mind. If you have short-changed your sleep the night before, consider a 20 minute power nap to boost your afternoon performance.

  1. Spiritual Health

If you’ve ever worked on something you don’t believe has value, you’ve likely experienced negative effects such as depression and lethargy. On the other hand, if you are involved in work that is meaningful to you, you will find it brings you energy and feels a lot less like work. Strive to find ways to integrate work and play.

Clare Kumar is the founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company. Clare works with business owners and employees to drive greater productivity and peace of mind through better organization at work and at home. An industry expert, Clare also creates new products to help people remove the ‘bumps’ from their day. If there’s something you do every day that’s slowing you down, she wants to hear from you.

By Adam

October 18, 2012