It is not about working harder... it is about working smarter. I do not love the emphasis around working 10-16 hour days 5-7 days a week. It affects all areas of health as the weeks turn into months turn into years. As a busy professional you want to be as productive yourself as well as your employees.
Here are a few statistics from an article by Aleksandar Dimovski(1) :
The numbers are staggering ... no wonder some employers push their employees to work longer days .. they may get a full 4 hours out of them!
There are many reasons why a working professional would not work to their full potential :
In some ways these reasons are all connected to each other. As a busy work professional myself I needed to work in strategies to my daily life to better myself and my work productivity. Here are 3 health strategies that I trust, and have improved, my work productivity:
1. Create a definite bedtime routine. There is incredible scientific evidence that quality sleep drastically improves daily productivity. A study (2) of 4,188 U.S. workers found "significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes". Of those who had less sleep it is estimated that there is a $1,967 loss in productivity per worker (due to poor sleep).
Creating a healthy bedtime routine consists of establishing a time for settling down, removing all electronic devices and a lights out time. Those boundaries may not be met immediately but the more you are consistent the more benefits you will see. Sleep is a beautiful thing! Without it I do not function to the best of my abilities - I am not the professional I strive to be.
2. Have protein at each meal. This was a life changing strategy! Protein is necessary for each and every cell in the body to function - and having enough throughout the day is essential to keeping energy up. High energy levels are directly related to better productivity. I strive to have 20-30g protein at a main meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and anywhere between 10-20g protein with snacking.
Where can you find protein ?
Having a variety of these foods at each meal or snack will guarantee a boost of protein in a day!
3. Water is consistent throughout the day. Water is especially important for the body and mind to function optimally. According to ThinkProductive(3) "a 2013 study showed that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity" but most people do not get enough on a daily basis. Having a clear 1L water bottle on hand has been the best way for myself to monitor how well I am doing each and every day.
The human brain is about 73% water and if you do not consume enough on a regular basis the brain will not function to its highest efficiency!
So there you have it, 3 health strategies to improve work productivity. Getting quality sleep, enough protein throughout the day and keeping your water intake up will make the difference in your business productivity and efficiency.
(1) Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 1 - p 91-98