Help Your Brain By Exercising During the Workday

Is your work spilling over to your free time? My work is so wild that it’s more like a tsunami, invading my evenings, weekends and nigths. I’m having trouble sleeping, my brains are so excited. At the same time my work is becoming more demanding. I have to be present and sensitive, I cannot listen to my customers with tired brains.

I have noticed I am not alone, here are some related links:

  •  Sleep your way to the top “We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness, and smarter decision making” – Arianna Huffington
  • Why its time we paid employees to exercise at work  “Employees return from workouts refreshed and better focused on their jobs. Time lost on exercise is made back and more in terms of improved productivity.”
  • Regular exercise is part of your job  “Studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. And nowhere are the implications more relevant than to our performance at work.” – Harvard Business Review
  • Restoring your energy “There are a number of things you can do to replenish your mental energy that don’t involve drinking more coffee or high-caffeine sodas.” – Emma Seppälä

I have engaged my counter attack. I call it “4 1/2”. I intend to spill back to my every workweek one half-day of “my time” – I will do whatever my mind and body desires. And it has to happen during business hours, between nine to five.

Usually my body asks for physical exercise, calming down, meditation, or taking a nap. Sometimes my body wants to run or lift weights, raise my heart rate. Sometimes it wants to walk slowly, do some taiji or yoga movements, or just shake off some tension. I follow whatever my body wants, I don’t want this to be one more task on my todo-list. So, no performing here.

My main intention is to listen to my mind and body, and do whatever feels necessary as simply as I can. I’m giving my brains a chance  to recover and be at their best.

My experiment will last one year, it started on 1.1.2016.

My meter = 100* (the number of workweeks when I took the half-day break of exercise or meditation / the number of full 5-day workweeks in 2016).

I set my target for 2016 to 80%. Status report today (21.2.16): I have had 6 full working weeks, and 4 half-day breaks (ok, one of them was only 2 hours but I will count it in since it ws enough to regain my energy). So, I’m at 66,6% at the moment. I also admit that I did work on some evenings. I need to cut down evening work as well, it doesn’t help if I compensate my day-breaks in the evenings.

The main thing is that my counter attack has established a bridgehead. Mostly I have taken my break on Wednesday mornings, and therefore I call it “Wednesday Oasis”. Tuesday evenings feel like Friday, since I know the next morning will start with meditation and exercise.

Do I need a permission for this? From my boss? No. From my clients? No. From myself? I guess I did, but now I have given it to myseilf. I will make a triple jump – increased joy, wellbeing, and productivity. My brains and my clients will thank me.

– all the best, Pekka



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