By LeAnna J. Carey | Jan 07, 2013
Happy New Year to you! Have you thought about how you are going to be spending your time in 2013? We believe that wellness is going to be a key priority for many healthcare consumers who are interested in staying competitive and productive in the workplace. Here are four tips that may get your year off to a good start and keep your head in the game:
1. Getting enough sleep
Employers are not the only ones looking at performance and productivity – the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers spent last summer looking into the relationship between sleep and performance. It might be good time for you to revisit the importance of keeping your room cool and dark, as well. Sleeping without your iPhone, iPad and laptop will keep you in sync with your body’s circadian rhythm.
2. Standing, not sitting
The need to exercise is very important to health and wellbeing. New research shows that cutting back TV watching to less than two hours every day may extend life by 1.4 years. According to WebMD studies suggest that people who sit for prolonged periods every day have a higher risk for diabetes, heart attack and even some cancers. All of us know how easy it is to spend several hours in front of a computer without taking a break - try to get up and move several times a day.
3. Recognizing peak creativity time
Start by asking yourself if you are a lark or an owl? If you are an owl, starting a project before 8 in the morning will most likely produce less than average results. Think back over your work for the past few months – was there a time when ideas just seemed to flow? Dr. Kay, Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California states that, “when it comes to doing cognitive work, for example, most adults perform best in the late morning - as body temperature starts to rise just before awakening in the morning and continues to increase through midday, working memory, alertness and concentration gradually improve. Taking a warm morning shower can jump-start the process.”
4. Finding Flow
Flow is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. What is key to flow and enjoying an integrated work/life balance is placing as much emphasis on your downtime as your work time.
Ready for 2013! We are and looking forward to sharing tips on health, energy, creativity, and wellness with you!
By LeAnna J. Carey | Oct 19, 2012
The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus, centered on being condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. My thoughts exactly, this is practice makes perfect gone bad; this analogy is about the loss of time and opportunity and that unpredictability has a place in keeping us mindful. Unfortunately, many in the American workforce may actually relate to pushing a boulder uphill; according to Mercer's 2011 What's Working survey nearly "one in three (32%) US workers is seriously considering leaving his or her organization at the present time, up sharply from 23% in 2005. Meanwhile, another 21% are not looking to leave but view their employers unfavorably and have rock-bottom scores on key measures of engagement, a term that describes a combination of an employee’s loyalty, commitment and motivation." Why is it that the feeling of being "stuck" strikes an uncomfortable cord?
My guess is that being "stuck" is a consequence of mindlessness - the very opposite of openness to novelty or thinking about possibilities. In this video, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer talks about mindfulness and noticing new things. Her studies also indicate that mindfulness results in:
1. Greater competence
4. Positive affect
7. Reduced burnout
Here is an exercise that teaches basic mindfulness medication from Harvard Health Publications:
Sit on a straight-backed chair or cross-legged on the floor.
Focus on an aspect of your breathing, such as the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, your belly rising and falling as you inhale and exhale.
Once you've narrowed your concentration in this way, begin to widen your focus. Become aware of sounds, sensations, and your ideas.
Embrace and consider each thought or sensation without judging it good or bad. If your mind starts to race, return your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again.
The good news is that "flow" guru, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) shared that mindfulness can be increased to foster positive experiences - including business. Are you in the present, now? Right now? Good.
By LeAnna J. Carey | Sep 25, 2012
Robin Sharma says that, “better awareness leads to better decisions, which leads to better results.” Not too many would argue with Sharma because success speaks for itself and he is absolutely right. Let me ask you - are you aware of your room temperature right now? Is it too warm, too cold? The temperature of your work place as an impact on your productivity, according to Fast Company, in reporting a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University.
The research discovered that employees who worked in cold temperatures were less productive and more likely to make errors in their work. Researchers adjusted an office thermostat and found that when the temperature was set to 68 degrees, employees committed 44 percent more errors and were less than half as productive as when it was set to a warmer 77 degrees. The theory behind the decline in productivity that when your body's temperature drops, more energy is expended trying to keep warm; energy that is diverted from concentration, creativity and insight.
The opposite in temperature settings is true for achieving a good nights sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In their survey, they asked what makes for a good nights sleep and six in ten, rated on a 5 point scale, indicated that the following elements were important:
· Quiet room (74%)
· Dark room (73%)
· Cool room temperature (67%)
· Fresh air, free of allergens (63%), and/or
· Clean bedroom (62%).
Your productivity can be impacted before you even get into the office from a too warm thermostat setting the previous night. You get enough curve balls thrown at you daily, but temperature awareness is something that can be controlled.