To do your best work, you have to be your best self. Maximizing focus, productivity, and creativity means being keenly aware of our individual physical and mental needs. There are three key components to achieving optimal mental and physical wellness: sleep, exercise and mindfulness. By putting these elements into practice, you can feel, think and work better. Creating a sustainable routine that incorporates each of these is instrumental to ensuring that we’re performing at our best.
Lack of rest can affect your ability to focus and your decision-making skills. Everybody has a different amount of sleep needed to operate at their maximum capacity. Some people can function on four hours while others need a full eight. Once you’ve found your magic number, use it as a guide to ensure you’re getting enough rest. If you have trouble falling asleep, setting a bedtime routine can help signal to your body and your brain that it’s time to shut down.
I have never been an early riser, but a couple of years ago I began getting up at 5:00 a.m. to workout. As much as I hated setting my alarm for that early in the morning, I began to value this time for my well-being. By exercising early in the day, I make sure it doesn’t get de-prioritized based on how my day goes. I quickly discovered that although getting out of the bed that early is tough (especially when it’s dark and cold outside), I was much more energized throughout the day. My body has been pushed beyond what I thought it was capable of, and I’ve tapped into a physical toughness that I didn’t know existed. There have been plenty of times I’ve told my trainer “I can’t do that,” only to find that just trying does make it possible. This time in the morning has become sacred, and being pushed to my physical limits has motivated me to challenge myself in other areas of my life too.
We are consuming more content faster than ever, which means that our brains are constantly working to process information. We are using multiple devices throughout the day and most of us are spending an extensive amount of time in front of computer screens at work. Because of this, our minds get very little downtime. Creating quiet, restful moments are vital. Think of it as refueling your brain. I used to be a huge skeptic of meditation, but that changed after I experienced an extremely stressful period in my life. I was so consumed by my thoughts that it felt suffocating. Then, I realized that I wasn’t allowing myself space to “breathe” mentally. I made small changes that led to big results. I changed my morning routine of immediately turning on the news to 10 minutes of meditation. I enabled the Do Not Disturb mode on my phone after 10:00 p.m. I disabled app notifications on my phone. Luckily, the advertising industry allows me to practice mindfulness throughout the day.
Flexible work hours, the ability to work from home, an on-site wellness room and walkability in the area create an environment that allows for cultivating a healthy mind. All of these things have reduced the mental clutter that I used to feel and have created the headspace I need to lead a fuller life.
It’s easy to tell yourself “I don’t have time.” But by sticking to a routine that positively affects your well-being, you can open your mind—and life—to all new possibilities.