The wave of digitalization is getting stronger. The overall shift in the way we live, work, and do business is unimaginable. With the kind of demands created, there’s a consequential need for us — employees, entrepreneurs, parents, spouses, etc., — to properly decide how well we’re going to manage our energy with the limited time and resource that we have.
We need to recapture our “Attention Span” and also become fully engaged and present at home, in our relationships, at the office, and in our businesses. We are expected to perform at our best for eight, ten and even twelve hours a day without taking into consideration whether or not we are trained for the new dimension of work. These realities have been created and without our notice. As humans we must stay productive and continue to express ourselves on a daily basis.
Human Productivity and Performance is a mindset and without recognizing certain “shifts” in areas of life and work, it is almost impossible to put to use the tools and strategies required for each of them. The very foundational “shift” I want to make is that – “Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance and productivity.”
Energy is what drives sustainable peak performance. Instead of trying to determine how much time will be needed to do a certain task, a wise approach will be to find out the amount of energy it will take to do the same activity at the stipulated time.
We need the right quantity, quality, focus and force of energy for whatever activity we undertake. The difference between you and an employee or entrepreneur in another country could be in the quantity and quality of energy available for quality and productive work.
The number of hours for each day may be fixed, however the quantity and quality of energy is certainly not the same for both of you. Please understand that you will have the same 24 hours when you’re 30 years and 65 years of age. The difference will be in the quantity and quality of energy and eventually different levels of personal performance and productivity at 30 and 65.
So how can i help you improve your personal performance and work productivity. Below are Twelve tips that you can immediately begin practising to help you achieve this. However, I will want you look beyond them as just tips but as “rituals” you can include into your daily routines for your health and well – being.
Tips for Improving Performance and Productivity
#1: Use Sleep to boost your performance and productivity. Doctors, like the phenomenal Dr. Malik Haruna, always advise 8-9 hours of sleep every day. Allow your body the right amount of sleep hours and be sure to do so early. Early to bed, early to rise. You can whether or not you had a good sleep by the your physical and emotional energy levels during the day.
#2: Take lots of water to stay hydrated. Your body cells make use of water for their processes. Dehydration can result into fatigue in the body and hence loss of focus and low productivity. As I write this article we’re in the period of harmattan, and with it comes dryness and quick loss of water. Keep yourself hydrated and continuously take in sufficient amounts of water.
#3: Plan your day before you begin it. As professionals I don’t need to overemphasize the benefit of planning and preparation before you start a day. You can do this in the earlier hours of the morning or late in the evening before going to bed. Planning helps you stay focused and aids mental strength. Whenever you plan for each day make sure you put these Four components into perspective — NECESSITIES, PRODUCTIVITY/BALANCE, DISTRACTIONS and WASTES/EXCESSES.
#4: Your Food and Nutrition is an important aspect in improving your personal performance and work productivity. Since the food you eat supplies physical energy, compromising your meals will be building a bridge between your well-being and your personal performance. Always take nutritious meals during the day. Avoid junk foods or fizzy drinks.
#5: Apart from food, another source of energy is the relationship with ourselves and others. Relationship with ourselves and others in terms of how well we handle stress in our jobs, rejection from others, sad news, internal conflicts, external conflicts, etc. Handling relationships in your life and with yourself should be a competence you develop. Apart from ourselves we also work with people and attracting negative energy can be very detrimental and leave you with a bad day.
#6: On the other side of the coin, meaningful relationships can serve as a means of happiness, joy, inspiration, motivation, etc. One way you renew yourself is by getting back to these relationships for emotional strength. Your family members, mentors, coaches, followers, etc., are meaningful relationships you should cherish in your life’s journey.
#7: Always create intermittent periods within your working hours when you renew, rejuvenate, refresh, etc. Set these periods in your schedule and make sure you keep at it. There is a limit any muscle can go when stretched. It then requires rest from stress in order to return to its original state and function maximally. So also balancing between energy expenditure and renewal will help improve your performance and productivity levels.
#8: Don’t turn your day into a marathon for yourself. Work on your schedule, quit leaving a linear life – always in a continuous state of uniform motion. There’s a PULSE OF LIFE – On and Off movements of activity and rest – you must agree with. Cycles like Day and Night, Sunrise and Sunset, Birth and Death, Plant and Harvest, Labour and Income, Office Hours and Closure. This is a simple law in nature we all cannot control, especially for those with hyperactive genes.
#9: In furtherance to tip #7 above, I’ll say break down your day into periods (Morning, Afternoon and Evening), quarters (3am, 6am, 9am, 12noon, … 9pm), seasons (Day & Night), etc. This will help create a rhythm in your life and also to avoid the marathon kind of living. Also choose which regimen that best suits your schedule.
#10: Always create time for the things you love. A lot of us grew up having amazing hobbies but the demands of life has created a wall between us and these hobbies. Hobbies like photography, music, golfing, travelling, networking, reading, watching movies, creative art, writing, poetry, fashion, etc., helps you connect with yourself and your life’s purpose. You find joy and fulfillment doing what you love and that’s one source of spiritual energy.
#11: Guard against fatigue in your life. Fatigue can create different kinds of negative emotions such as irritability, frustration, loss of concentration, anxiety, fear, and anger. Fatigue results to poor performance and reduces productivity. Drink water when necessary. Rest when your body needs it. Reduce distractions. Exercise. Meditate.
#12: Use Routines to improve your personal performance and work productivity. We are creatures of habits. We live according to our habit patterns, the ones we created or unconsciously imbibed. High Performers build very precise routines in their lives for managing energies all spheres of their lives. Routines like
- eating and sleeping;
- working out and resting;
- summoning the appropriate emotions; mentally preparing and staying focused; and
- connecting regularly to the mission they have set for themselves.
I’ll like to end this post with a very powerful reminder, and that is: “Every one of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors has an energy consequence, for better or for worse. The ultimate measure of our lives is not in how much time we spend on the planet, but rather how much energy we invest in the time that we have.” – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, THE POWER OF FULL ENGAGEMENT.
MEET THE WRITER
Smart Megwai is Mr EQUIP, the Productivity Geek. He is passionate about Peak Performance and Human Productivity. He is the founder of www.theproductivitygym.com (IN PROGRESS) which helps individuals live productive and fully engaged lives by staying physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned.
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