Take Care of Yourself

By Laura Stack
The Productivity Pro(R)

You Can’t Be Productive if You Don’t Take Care of Yourself.

How healthy are you? How good do you feel? How much energy do you have throughout the day to accomplish the things you want to? Recent studies have shown that we have the potential to dramatically affect productivity by paying closer attention to our health. In other words, when you feel good, you can accomplish more. You can get on the road to healthier productivity by adopting these tips.

1. Get adequate sleep each night, so you’re not sleepy during the day. Sacrificing sleep is actually counterproductive, so experiment until you find the amount of sleep that works best for you, and stick with it. Don’t nap during the day, either.

2. Get sufficient exercise. Getting 15-30 minutes of exercise every day is crucial to maintaining your energy level. The less active you are, the less energy you have.

3. Use all your allotted vacation time each year. Don’t put off vacation to make your boss happy; studies show it won’t make you more productive. You need long vacations every year so you can recharge your creative batteries.

4. Pamper yourself on a regular basis. It’s not selfish to treat yourself well, as long as you don’t overdo it. You need to be able to enjoy life in order to be productive at work, so learn how to “do nothing” effectively.

5. Maintain a noise level in your office that’s conducive to productivity. Noisy environments lead to higher stress, which leads to lower productivity. Do everything you can to cut down on the noise, from relocating your office to listening to music on special noise-reduction headphones.

6. Ensure your workspace is comfortable and ergonomically correct. You can’t be productive if your workplace is hurting you. Use ergonomic equipment, and learn techniques to avoid vision problems caused by too much computer use.

7. Practice healthy eating habits. Always eat breakfast, focus on healthy food alternatives, and never go more than six hours without eating. Poor eating habits can make you fuzzyheaded and less productive — and fat.

8. Take a lunch break every day. Consistently working through your lunch hour is not only bad for the employee, it’s bad for the employer. Always eat something at lunch so you can keep your blood sugar at the right level and stay clearheaded.

9. Drink the right amount of water each day. To avoid the negative effects of dehydration, you need to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day — possibly more. Coffee doesn’t count, and neither do tea or sodas; in fact, they have diuretic effects that will rapidly dehydrate you.

10. Control your environment and rid yourself of things that bring you down. Surround yourself with happiness. Get rid of things that have negative memories attached to them, especially reminders of failed relationships.

Instead of over-eating, working too hard, not exercising enough, and skimping on your sleep, make personal choices that lead to increased productivity. Learn to rest, to laugh, to recreate, and treat your body right, or you’ll live to regret it. The choices you make today will affect how you feel tomorrow.

The Productivity Pro(R), Inc., 9948 S. Cottoncreek Drive, Highlands Ranch, CO 80130, USA

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Good vs Great

March 15th, 2010
Good vs Great
Written by Christine Kane

One of my coaching clients – I’ll call her Bonnie – is really good at what she does. REALLY good. She had some idea of her skills – but it came fully equipped with all the usual doubts and concerns.

Many of us can relate. We’re so steeped in our world and all of its assumptions that we think everyone knows what we know. That we’re not all that special.

Well, Bonnie has been putting herself “out there” bit by bit. She’s been facing her fears and stepping into the spotlight. Suddenly, opportunities are pouring in. They’re good opportunities. She has taken lots of them just to get some experience.

And now, they keep coming. Every single week.

The price of these opportunities is Bonnie’s time and energy. Her vision for herself is greater than these good opportunities, but she feels torn. She’s at a critical point.

It’s called: Saying NO to the GOOD so you can say YES to the GREAT!

Saying NO to the good means getting clear and committed to your dream and standing by that clarity with your own strong decision. (Yikes!)

Can you relate? It’s easy to continue saying Yes to the good stuff that costs only your time and energy. (Even if it’s the very time and energy you need in order to create the GREAT thing you’ve been talking about forever.) After all, an opportunity is an opportunity, isn’t it? I mean, in these “hard economic times” aren’t you supposed to be grateful for anything you can get?

Well, it depends.

Do you want to live in the “at least I have something” mindset? Or do you want to create the thing that could potentially bring in your most authentic success?

Do you want to Live Reactive? (“This is a good opportunity, even if it’s not exactly where I want to go.”) Or do you want to Live Creative? (“Time to site down and write my outline for this book and put in the time to make it come alive.”)

Either choice is fine, of course.

But only one requires creating your YES by saying a NO.

Tagged as: christine kane, how to be creative, say no to the good say yes to the great

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How to kill your mojo: Over-committing

By Marshall Goldsmith

There’s a wise saying, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.” It makes sense up to a point. A busy person is well organized and not inclined to waste time or get distracted. But there’s a fine line between taking on a lot of work and taking on too much.

It’s easy to see how corporate leaders fall into this trap. If you’re good at what you do and like your job (in other words, bursting with Mojo), everybody wants to rub up against you in some way. They want you in their meeting. They seek your opinion of their idea. They ask you to run a project. People with high Mojo are assaulted with opportunities. It’s how junior employees advance quickly; their ambition and enthusiasm lead bosses to pile on the work….and the young employees never stay “stop” until it’s too late. That’s when the quality of their work…and their Mojo…fall into a predictable but vicious circle.

It’s even easier to see how self-employed people fall for this. When you don’t have the cushion of a steady paycheck, every opportunity looks like your last payday. So you say yes to everything.

I’m also guilty of this; when someone invites me to talk to them or their organization, I get paid when I show up. If I say, “no, thanks,” I’m tossing money down the drain. So I fill up my schedule in advance. Then I know when the quiet periods are in my calendar, those times I can read, write or chill out.

But then temptation appears: someone calls to hire me. I tell them no, but they persist. These nice people will work around my schedule, they say, and they say flattering things about me. This makes it hard for me to say no; plus, I don’t really know how the economy or my bookings will look down the road. So I say yes, and that’s how I find myself on the road, unpacking my suitcase in another hotel, when I might be better served writing my next book.

I’m not whining. I’m very fortunate to have this problem. But the fact that I question my decision is a threat to my Mojo. And if during the year I say yes too many times when I should be saying no, this problem could compound into dangerous levels and turn into burnout. I’m the guy who wrote the book on Mojo and I still have a lot to learn about avoiding over-commitment! How about you?

If we chronically over-commit our sagging spirit inside may become obvious to everyone. Our formerly enjoyable job can become rote, our execution sloppy and half-hearted. The irony of all this, that our over-commitment of time can result in our appearing under-committed in spirit, is rarely appreciated by our customers or colleagues.

We can all benefit by realizing that we can fall into this trap. Many of us are afraid of looking weak, as if we can’t handle any challenge that comes our way. Maybe we can’t resist the siren call of being wanted; it’s a validation of our skill and proof that we are loved. Perhaps with all our Mojo we really do at times believe we have superhuman qualities and that nothing is too much. This explains why over-committing is one of the sweet but risky blowbacks of having Mojo…and why it’s a stealth Mojo killer.

Before replying with an enthusiastic “yes” to that next request, think of the long-term impact on your Mojo. Are you doing what is right for the long term? Or just saying what makes others happy in the short term? Is what you are about to commit to going to increase the long term happiness and meaning that you experience in life? It’s a question worth exploring.

Excerpted from Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith has authored 28 books including What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – a New York Times best-seller, Wall Street Journal #1 business book and Harold Longman Award winner for Business Book of the Year. Succession: Are You Ready? is the newest edition to the Harvard Business ‘Memo to the CEO’ series. Marshall’s latest book is Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, and How to Get It Back When You Lose It!

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