Do you or someone you know have trouble focusing on one thing at a time? Often feel impatient, frustrated, or irritable at work? Then this post is for you!
We can all agree that rising demand from customers, and the advent of 24/7 services, both of which are fueled by advancements in digital technology, may be leading to an increasingly unproductive workforce. According to Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, the reason for this decline in productivity may be an under-recognized ‘personal energy crisis’. As I read an article by Schwartz on the Harvard Business Review’s blog network I could not help but notice that I myself was moving towards a personal energy crisis. But just what is this personal energy crisis? Well, according to the article, it’s spending more energy that you take in; and as we know if you do that with money you’ll eventually go bankrupt. Below I have outlined some of the traits that can lead to a personal energy crisis and some easy and common approaches to correcting them.
1. Sleep Deprivation – Let’s be honest, getting 8 hours of sleep today is not as easy as it sounds. However, we need to understand that consistently losing sleep can take a progressive toll on ones ability to sustain attention.
Solution – Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, plain and simple. Also, don’t allow, or at least discourage early morning or late night calls and meetings.
2. Being a Workhorse – Even with sufficient sleep, human beings aren’t designed to work for more than 90 minutes continuously at the highest level of focus. The more continuously we work without a break, the more we deplete our capacity to make rational, reflective decisions.
Solution – Take renewal breaks, and encourage others to do so as well. It can be some thing as simple as taking a walk around the block or the office, running an errand. Studies have shown that walking around once every 30 minutes throughout the day stimulates blood flow and leads to a burst of hyper oxygenation in the brain – or in simpler terms it increases energy and attentiveness. Even taking a nap (with your boss’s approval of course) can help.
3. Beware of Multi-tasking – While multi-tasking at times is a great help to productivity beware of trying to do too much.
Solution – Try doing one thing at a time, in an absorbed way, is not only more efficient, but also leads to higher quality work.
Other more common and helpful recommendations include eating high energy foods at regular intervals (roughly every 3 hours); working out regularly; and spending more time with loved ones.
Feel free to peruse the Harvard blog post attached below, and share some of your tricks for being more energized and productive.