I admit it...I can sometimes be a workaholic - antsy if there's nothing to do, easily bored, rarely take breaks.
Then I learned the cost of being that way - constant stress, shallow breathing, loss of focus, health issues.
What I learned from my body, mind, and spirit from these lessons is this: the American culture of "very busy" is damaging to the entire body system.
When the mind and body are goingdon'tstopgottarushhurryhurry, the body creates stress hormones in the body, which cause any number of undesirable effects. Ironically, the body's attempts to cope add another layer of stress...a vicious cycle indeed.
I have known parents whose children are always on the go as well, rushing from school to a sports activity to practice to tryouts to homework. These children are being taught workaholism, rather than healthy balance.
Here's what I've learned. Take breaks! Set a firm schedule for yourself which includes frequent breaks.
For five minutes each hour, stand up and stretch, look out your window, and let your gaze and your mind wander. Drink some water. Take a deep breath, then refocus on work.
For 15 minutes every three hours, do the same, but add some physical movement. Even a fast-paced trot around the house or office, or some TaiChi or Yoga, can make a huge difference in your stress levels.
Take a lunch break! You do yourself NO favors by mindlessly chowing down on something at your desk. Away from your office, eat a healthy meal, preferably of fresh, live foods. Eat mindfully, savoring the textures and flavors. Eat gratefully, appreciating that you have access to this healthy and delicious food.
It's not just important to schedule breaks during your day, but also on a bigger scale. Take at least one day off from your work, truly off, not thinking and planning, but being present in the REST of your life. Schedule, take and enjoy vacations...unplug from the workload and technology.
Do you find yourself responding to this advice with, "Who has time for that?" Then you especially need to follow it! By honoring your body, mind, and spirit in these ways, you'll find you get far more done and feel better doing it.
Avoid the long-term effects of stress on the body. Take a break!
That may not be your first question. That's likely to be, "What the heck is BPT?" Let me explain.
Biological Prime Time (BPT) is a phrase coined by author Sam Carpenter to describe that magical time of day when you're most able to tackle brain-intensive tasks. It has little to do with whether you are most alert in the morning or evening, and more to do with which part of your brain is most capable of exertion during what time of day.
Knowing your BPT gives you a good start to accomplishing those challenging tasks at the optimal time for you.
For instance, I can be productive on both detailed and creative tasks about equally, however at different times of day. If I need to be very focused, I will take care of the task first thing in my work day, when I'm most alert and capable of detailed thinking. When I need to be creative and just let ideas flow, I work on these tasks in the early afternoon. By mid-afternoon my brain says, "Nope, no more!" and so I move on to more brainless things like filing or the next day's to-do list.
I recently got bogged down with several urgencies at the same time and stepped out of these ideal times for the work - not a good plan. Things went awry!
My client Lisa Crilley Mallis of Impactive Strategies explains this here, with some great ideas of how to track and take advantage of your best times.
Remember that you cannot force this BPT into the most convenient time for you. It is what it is, regulated by your brain. When you honor it and schedule accordingly, you'll not only be more productive, but also happier!
Welcome! These stories, tips and tricks are intended to help you save time, and be more organized and effective in your work. New items will be added frequently so check back often.