Have it All By Following the Rules of the Road

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Imagine this is your really sweet car. I am assuming that you will try to skip oil changes, ignore those pesky check engine lights and fill it with low-grade gasoline, correct? I mean these are the details that don’t show so why bother? If you can’t imagine treating a machine this way, then why are you treating your body this way? Let’s face it…you’re busy! You are trying to grow or maintain a financial practice, meet your clients’ needs and keep all the balls in the air. For a while you may be able to skip meals and snacks, avoid water so you don’t need to take breaks and skip a few workouts. Perhaps your friends and family won’t notice that you’re either NOT there or that you are MENTALLY not there. If this is happening, what is your plan? Can you keep going like this? Is it serving you?

Actually, it is costing you. Consider this: according to a study by Harvard Business Review, a lack of self care translates to burnout and a disappointing bottom line. Eating unhealthily is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity and rarely exercising translates to a 50% increased risk of low productivity. Additionally, sleep deprivation and smoking are also correlated with an increased risk of loss of productivity

See if you can begin taking better care of yourself by paying attention to at least one area of your core needs which are:

-Physical Health (nutrition, sleep, daytime renewal, and exercise)

-Emotional Well-Being (feeling appreciated and valued)

-Mental Clarity (ability to focus intensely, prioritize and think creatively)

-Spiritual Significance (a feeling of serving a mission beyond generating a profit)

Here are some ways to fill up your tank:

-Manage your energy as opposed to your time. Time is finite. You can expand your personal energy and regularly renew it by taking breaks, exercising, taking some time off once in a while and having fun.

-Establish rituals such as shutting down your e-mail for an hour so you can tackle a complex task without interruption.

-Take a short walk every day to get an emotional and mental breather. -Stay “present” in your body (think of your 5 senses, take time to breathe in deeply, etc.).

-Try to be active and eat regular meals to prevent muscle loss which can lead to weight gain, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, lower back pain, fatigue, depression and irritability.

-Exercise can be as simple as moving around more in general each day if committing to a gym is too much right now.

-Try wearing a FitBit and competing with your colleagues for fun. Keep it simple!

-A snack bar does NOT constitute a meal! Fuel the body with a variety of satisfying and healthy foods.

-Substitute coffee and energy drinks with coconut water which is replenishing but doesn’t cause your nervous system to become overstimulated.

Now imagine yourself feeling like a pampered car with great maintenance and quality fuel. Not too bad, huh? Try it and watch your activity and productivity levels improve while you feel better and have more energy and enthusiasm. Time to hit the open road!

Sources: Harvard Business Review “The Productivity Paradox: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of People by Demanding Less” Huffington Post Healthy Eating, Exercise Linked with Workplace Productivity UCLA Medical Center Insights Executive Health “Healthy Options: How nutrition and exercise and increase productivity and lower health care costs”