Rock Your 2017!
by Giselle Carson, JBA Past President and Co-Chair of Health and Wellness Committee
We are a few weeks into 2017. How are you doing with those New Year’s goals? Where are you going to find the energy, the time to complete them?
I ponder this very question every year and find the answer by learning from others and reviewing and updating my habits and routines.
Start by letting go… of non-essential things and commitments. Disorganization in your environment –physical, emotional, or digital – competes for your attention, which leads to decreased focus and increased stress.
Decluttering gives you energy, confidence, and a freed mind. This can open up mental space and time to tackle your goals.
If you are unsure where to start, I recommend the KonMari method created by Japanese organizational guru Marie Kondo: ask yourself “does this spark joy?” if the answer is No … purge, donate, stop, decline or cancel.
Strike a pose.
Research shows how critical posture is to how you are perceived and how you feel. When people strike the right pose, they become more present and better able to connect with others.
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, found that “power posing” can change your hormone levels, boosting performance, increasing energy and confidence, and decreasing stress levels.
If you need a boost of energy, strike a “power pose” before reaching for caffeine: chest out, head and shoulders up, and a smile.
Did you know that the color green can give you a boost? A study found that cyclists who watched a video with a green filter felt happier, less tired, and more motivated than those shown red or gray.
That does not mean you have to paint your office green. But consider adding green artwork or a few potted plants to your office. I find that my mind and body are reinvigorated by going outside to enjoy the green in nature or an escape to the ocean.
If outdoor exercise is not on your list, consider adding it. In fact, make it a goal to attend the JBA Yoga on the Lawn the first Friday of the month. The next one will be on February 3, 2017 from 12 to 1.
Manage your caffeine intake.
Caffeine can boost productivity and energy – but it can also increase stress levels and cause an energy crash once it leaves your system.
I love coffee, and I am learning to love green tea, too. Through experimentation, I have found a few things that help me maximize the benefits of caffeine.
- Savor your beverage.
- Drink some water alongside to keep you hydrated and focused.
- Limit or eliminate sugary drinks which can make your energy crash worse.
- Don’t drink a caffeinated drink after 1 PM.
Set time limits.
Establish deadlines for tasks; it creates a sense of urgency that spurs you to accomplish more in less time. Think about how much you get done the day before leaving on vacation. You hunker down and focus, allowing you to make the most of your limited time.
Also, consider setting a cut-off point for your work day and on using your phone, as recently suggested by my fellow friend Ahmed in his great article “Taking baby steps toward disconnecting”. Putting in more hours does not necessarily equate to better productivity.
I use the Pomodoro technique to motivate me to get things done more efficiently. Here is how it works: break down your tasks into blocks of time (less than one hour) and take five-minute breaks between tasks. This enables you to focus on one task at a time and avoid spending unlimited amounts of time on a single task or project.
To an amazing 2017 for all!