Productivity Hacking: Stay Active, Stay Sharp, Stay Fit
One of the single most overlooked aspects of operating at a high level in business and life is physical fitness.
If you are like me, you have likely been putting in long hours and potentially burning the candle at both ends so to speak. Many if not most entrepreneurs find themselves constantly being pulled in a myriad of directions. Building success in the business world can be extremely demanding, and especially if you are still tied down to a normal, full-time job as you build your own entrepreneurial dreams; it can be possible to burn yourself out by focusing too rigorously on that one area of your life while neglecting others.
Being burned out and struggling to meet your daily demands will not help you to get where you want to be. Success in business means taking a balanced approach to utilizing your time and other resources.
Physical fitness and overall wellness are areas of your life that you do not want to neglect. Staying active is one of the single best investments that you can make in your future ability to encounter and meaningfully navigate stress. This is one of the most important reasons why it does not make sense to sacrifice your physical health by pushing yourself too rigorously with the demands of work.
Now of course, from time to time, if you are really dedicated to your mission, it may be harder to find the time to work out. Nonetheless, the more you intentionally program active habits into your daily routine, the easier it will be to consistently produce insights, drive innovation and ensure your success!
Exercise and Mental Firepower
Often, when we consider the utility of an active lifestyle, physical benefits such as lower blood pressure, heart health and a more chiseled and athletic physique are the first things to come to mind. While none of these benefits is in any way inaccurate, there is one important and rather immediate piece which is being neglected when we only think of the physical benefits of exercise: the way regular and rigorous activity affects the way we think and the mental firepower we are able to leverage when dealing with challenging tasks.
There is an increasingly expansive body of research evidence which clearly indicates that physical exercise promotes and even enhances cognitive ability in people of all ages and dispositions. What this means is quite simple: the investment that you make in physical fitness and leading an active lifestyle should not be seen as separate from the professional development that you are already dedicated to.
The science is conclusive, normal physical exercise will lead to:
- Enhanced concentration
- Sharper and more photographic memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
Leading an active lifestyle will help you to be more balanced, less prone to stress and more able to wade through the complexity of your day to day struggles. Your mind and body are a complex bioelectrical computer, the more you do to ensure your machine is running at optimal levels, the better it’s output will be. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and the ability to support interpersonal connection and collaboration. Being able to tackle your workload more efficiently and maneuver with your colleagues more nimbly are pretty clear benefits. As your productivity is likely to be boosted, the time commitment that daily exercise takes is unlikely to impact your work output in any sort of negative way.
There is nothing to lose and so much to gain by viewing exercise as an extension of your work.
Exercise as an extension of Work
With all these clear and scientifically validated benefits to normal physical activity and the pursuit of an active lifestyle, it is clear that we should start to look at fitness not as a personal and private indulgence or something that takes us away from work but as an extension of our professional lives and work itself.
The choice is yours:
If you would rather be less effective at processing information, more apt to forgetting, more easily frustrated and overall less effective and able to navigate the complexities of interpersonal dynamics, then by all means continue to neglect exercise and fitness.
If you are ready to unlock one of the most dramatic and effective productivity hacks known today, then continue reading to learn about how to successfully incorporate exercise into your daily routine and professional identity!
Identify a physical activity (or several) that you really enjoy doing.
There are literally millions of ways to get active. Everything from weight training to yoga, cycling to walks in the park, there truly are a myriad of options available. You could join peer athletic leagues if team sports are more your thing, alternately you could take up a hobby like drumming which is extremely active. The key though is to explore things which will be meaningful to you and that you will sustainably be able to incorporate into your daily routine.
You are far more likely to stick to your new active lifestyle if it is built on a foundation of activities that you really love and are motivated to get better at. If you view your exercise as something you love rather than a chore, it will be much easier to commit to other healthy choices which will support your overall health and wellness.
If running on a treadmill for an hour leads you to make up for it by vegging on the couch drinking alcohol and eating pizza, it is safe to say the benefits of the exercise are going to be negated. As hard as it might be, try to support your exercise with other complimentary healthy choices that will allow you to stay active, stay sharp and stay fit!
Invest in improving your performance.
Sure, you could just focus on “getting in some activity here or there” but you will derive much more benefit from your routine if it is something that you seek to master. Some of the best ways to support this area of your physical fitness could be to hire an athletic trainer or coach, enroll in a class, sign up for an athletic contest, or invest in buying high quality clothing and equipment. Any of these options will help you to be more serious and dedicated to your athleticism. Commitment really is everything when it comes to this stuff.
Remember, you are not trying to get fit to squeeze into a bikini, this is about generating sustainable lifestyle choices that will help you to dominate your competitors and futureproof your success. The more you invest in your fitness, the better your results will be and the harder it will be for you to fall out of the healthy habits that you are cultivating.
Build a team of supporters.(or several) that you really enjoy doing.
One of the reasons why Tough Mudders and other similar athletic contests have become so popular around the world is because activities like this are fundamentally tied to group dynamics. Many of these events are built around being a part of a team. This can be useful because as you build a team of supporters, it is far easier to hold the group accountable for what could be collective, rather than personal goals.
Even if you just get a buddy to go with you for runs or to the gym, it will allow you both to support each other and drive each other to success. Having a team of support around you will help you to invest more in your fitness and the goals that you are working rigorously towards.
Fitter, Happier, More Productive
Now is the time!
Today is the day!
Get out there, get active and watch your productivity soar!