For some of us there is an elusive question that we often spend much of our professional lives attempting to answer: how can we become more productive? Sometimes it can feel as though there is always more that we could accomplish at our workplaces. It can seem as though there are ways for us to complete our reports more efficiently, complete our projects before the final deadline or bring in even more sales. A simple Google search of the word productivity will yield millions of search results with advice meant to help workers devise strategies that will help them get more done at work. Much of the advice on productivity involves keeping track of time, minimizing distractions and planning out one’s work. While this sort of advice is important sometimes it is easy to overlook the fact that the most important productivity hacks that we can employ are the ones that have to do with energizing ourselves outside of work. Two of the most important ways that we can re-energize ourselves involve getting enough sleep and making time to exercise regularly. As media entrepreneur and co-founder of The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington has pointed out while people might “forego sleep in the name of productivity” they can actually end up becoming far less effective in their workplaces when they skimp out on getting their requisite eight hours of sleep each night. As Huffington has pointed out it is a mistake for us to believe that we are able to be effective on the job when we are sleep deprived.
There are some professions where a lack of sleep can have dangerous consequences. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out it is vital that employees who have critical work responsibilities that include transporting passengers on an airplane or caring for patients in a hospital are able to receive an adequate amount of sleep each night in order to be able to perform their job duties. When nurses and pilots execute their jobs carelessly they can endanger themselves and other people. While most of us don’t work in professions where people’s lives depend on our competency these examples serve to underscore how important sleep is to productivity.
Exercise also has positive implications for productivity. According to Fast Company magazine exercise can help battle anxiety and improve our ability to make decisions and to juggle “conflicting needs.” Arguably exercise can help people to prioritize tasks and calm their emotions in anxiety-inducing work environment. Professionals like Julie Zuckerberg a talent recruiter who balances a successful career in the financial services industry with an interest in fitness and health, are a testament to how regular exercise can help boost productivity. Julie Zuckerberg works in the talent recruitment world and has spent much of her professional life helping some of the world’s largest banks find the right professionals to help clients better manage their money. Julie, who earned a law degree from New York Law School, is also a fitness enthusiast. She enjoys fitness and sharing the fitness tips that have worked best for her. She recently wrote about how helpful interval routines can be to helping people achieve their fitness goals.