It’s strange that I’m writing a blog post on this subject considering that most of the other posts have been about technology in some shape or form. I’ve recently been embracing lots of non-tech related subjects and practices so thought it would be a good idea to share these so I can help others out there thinking about the same subject.
Is it really worth my time ?
It’s often a question we ask ourselves because we are too busy with the day job but if you don’t make time for yourself, who else is ? There’s been a raft of posts recently on IT burnout, depression, stress and subjects surrounding this and I hate to read articles like this knowing there are things you can do to help yourself and others around you. Take this as a list of suggestions where you can create and adapt your own framework. What works for one may not work for others so I’ve given you the basis of a framework on which to steer your own path.
I’ve been reading many books around the subject recently and the book that really taught me a lot was this one.
The Miracle Morning – https://amzn.to/2Jc8a69
It’s a fascinating insight into how you can influence and change your day ahead by adopting various strategies to help you keep in balance and positive throughout the day. Now truth be told, I don’t follow everything to the letter and this is why it is a framework but I have implemented various routines that eventually turn into habit. Habits are great things and can also be bad depending on what it is but we all know humans are very difficult to break habits and to adopt new ones. This is why it is important to stick with your plan however you choose to create it.
Hal Elrod has many interesting insights and I won’t have any spoilers for you but some of these routines can be completed inside 20 mins or less !!
What has worked for me ?
This took some time and I started one important routine which was regular exercise before reading this book. Nothing crazy that was too time consuming but simply cycling for 15-20 mins was enough for me right now. After reading this book I realised how important it was for the brain to do exercise as early as possible (hence habits to do before 8am) so this is now part of my routine on a semi-regular basis depending on my schedule.
The second item to mention is meditation. Now I know what you’re all thinking now but wait…….it does help…..believe me. I was also a skeptic and tried this previously and failed at making it a routine but having invested in an app (there are many out there but I use Calm) I can see that my brain, attitude and stress levels have changed for the positive. We all get sucked into work as soon as our eyes open in the morning but if we adjust our routine and don’t pick up our phones to check how many unread emails we have or what the latest is in the Slack group then trust me….you will also change.
It’s a journey and not a quick fix but if you want a new perspective on life and prevent stress and burnout at work then I would consider minor lifestyle changes to be a step in the right direction. You don’t have to do everything especially if you have other parts of your daily routine that already include some of the items mentioned in the book but you may find some useful tips along the way. The one I most appreciated is how exercise early in the morning can release certain chemicals in the brain that mean you are better set for the day ahead. When you exercise in the evening then these chemicals and changes to the brain cannot be put to good use although you could do a light exercise in the morning and a longer one in the evening if that suits your lifestyle.
As I continue to learn and read more areas for effective productivity whilst having a healthy work/life balance I will continue to share these thoughts on my blog.