Suresh is 34 years old working as Vice-president in a multinational bank. He is married and has 2 beautiful daughters. But things have not been going very well in his personal and professional front in the recent past. Since becoming the Vice President, 8 months back, he is been working 12-14 hours, every day. He looks almost always exhausted. He finds it difficult to engage with his family and often feels guilty and frustrated. He does not get more than 5-6 hours of sleep, doesn’t exercise, doesn’t eat properly; he just grabs something here and there, or while working at his desk.
Most of us can relate to Suresh’s condition. This is how we tend to respond: we put in more hours to address the rising demands of the workplace. But this takes a huge toll on one’s body, physically, mentally and emotionally. And, in turn, leads to a decline in engagement and productivity and an increase in distraction at your work life.
Is putting the additional number of hours the real answer?
Most definitely not.
Time is something which is a finite resource. But energy is something which can be a real deal breaker.
By focussing on our key sources of energy i.e body, mind and spirit, we can effectively manage stress, improve productivity and be happier.
1. Body: Physical Energy
We all know that nutrition, sleep, rest and exercise helps one to restore their energy levels. But many find it exceedingly difficult to practice healthy behaviour consistently. But simple things go a long way to help manage your energy.
For instance, smaller meals of light snacks every 3 hours, instead of 2 large meals, is a great way to stabilise glucose levels over the course of the day.
Likewise, just 30 minutes of a schedule change for sleep – going to bed 30 minutes before and freezing that time – is another simple and proven sleep hack one can employ.
And lastly, brief but regular breaks at specific intervals help to revive energy. It is proven that our body follows an “ultradian rhythm” in which our body hits an energy trough after 90-120 minutes. To counter that, we should take breaks which can help you completely dissociate yourself from the task. It could be as simple as walking down the stairs or even talking to a colleague.
2. The Mind: Mental Energy
Digital devices, notifications, emails, etc. affects the attention span of people, which has gone significantly down over time. More and more people are now struggling to concentrate on tasks for a prolonged time.
Another tactic is to systematically on activities that have the highest impact. Most of us will tend to get to all the work or rush through it at the last minute if they have not planned something intentionally.
3. The Spirit: Spiritual Energy
People are most motivated when they find a sense of meaning and purpose in what they do. If they feel what they are doing matters, they feel motivated. They feel a surge of energy and are able to focus better. They also demonstrate greater perseverance.
Broadly, to fully access your energy of human spirit, you need to clarify your priorities and in 3 broad categories:
1. Doing what you do best & enjoy the most at your work
2. Giving time and energy to the different areas of your life, for instance, family, work, health, community or society
3. Living your core values
First: In order to do your best and enjoy the most, you need to identify your sweet spot, i.e. the things that makes you feeling energised, effective, absorbed, and fulfilled.
Once you are able to find that establish a ritual for yourself where you are able to do more of such tasks.
Second: It’s understandable that as you climb the corporate ladder more and more responsibilities come your way. But that doesn’t mean you cannot make time for your other important aspects of your life. And this required efforts.
Third: We all hold certain values that are very dear to us. But instead of defining it explicitly – because the results tend to become too predictable, like honesty, courage, humility – you should try to uncover it. One simple way is to identify the things you cannot stand in the others. This way, you will unintentionally divulge the things that you value. Once established, it’s time to work towards it. So for instance, if you hate rudeness, it means you value consideration for others.
By religiously adhering to these three categories, you can see a greater sense of satisfaction, alignment, and fulfilment from your life and work. These will provide a positive energy and help you be more productive.
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