7 Exercises to Improve Productivity
Your people work hard for you. You are proud of the crew you have built to help your business be successful. But you worry that your crew is overworking and the stress of the job may make your beloved employees burn out early. Whether they are searching for the right domain or creating IT solutions for your office, these 5-minute exercises will improve your crew’s mental and physical health, and the byproduct of that improvement is their productivity. You may even find these exercises helpful.
Change their passwords
I realize that security is a high priority, but there are ways your crew can change their passwords to help improve their mental health. There is a real therapeutic effect to using H3alth4me@2018. If they type this every day, multiple times, it becomes a mantra for them.
They unconsciously think of ways to become healthier because they are thinking about it more often. Once the idea has become a habit, they can change it to be something else they want to work on like Get2wrk@8am. Making it fun can also be a huge productivity boost.
Do regular brain dump exercises
Schedule time every day to allow your crew to write down everything that is causing them stress. Science is showing that regularly writing down what you are stressed about helps you to cope with it. They don’t have to write well because it is just for their own reading.
Set a timer for five minutes and have them write every thought about people, places and things they are worried about. They don’t have to actually do anything about the information on the page, just the act of writing down most of it will help them to see things in a different way. And if you encourage them to go back and read over what they have written, it i,s even more powerful.
Reading what they have written helps to make it real for them, and their brain will naturally begin to find answers. Plus, if they have no control of some of their stress, writing it down helps them to release it.
Consider making your business pet-friendly
There are numerous studies that have shown pet-friendly workplaces to be less stressful and more productive. Animals have been shown to have a calming effect on employees. Workers are able to focus more and produce better quality work when pets are around.
The pet most taken to work is the dog, and while it is a benefit to the workers, dogs also benefit from the social interaction with humans. They are able to be close to their owners as well as create an extended family of sorts with the other workers in your office.
Take a walk
Encouraging your crew to disconnect for a few minutes every day and taking a walk is a great way to increase productivity. Not only does it help your business, it helps the workers to stay healthy and alert. Even just a five-minute walk three times a day is a good way to break up the work day and get outside, weather permitting, for some fresh air. Taking walks outside have been shown to increase dopamine to help combat stress.
Use the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
This simple exercise is also called “Relaxing Breath.” It is easy to do, and if your workers take five minutes to breath this way, they will be thanking you and producing more. Here is how it works:
- Breathe out completely, then close your mouth and breath in while counting to four.
- Hold your breath until you have counted to seven.
- Exhale slowly and completely while you count to eight.
- Repeat for five minutes.
- If you find your mind wandering, concentrate on counting and the feel of the air moving through your lungs.
This breathing exercise is simple, but it can be difficult at first, so be sure to coach your workers to keep trying and not give up. Holding your breath, even for just seven seconds, can be difficult for those who aren’t used to it. And exhaling slowly isn’t something that most of us are good at and and we need practice to get it right.
Stop the multitasking. Now.
Multitasking used to be the buzzword for workers, and many CEO’s, managers and business owners encouraged their workers to do this. Recently, there have been many studies showing the brain is incapable of multitasking and trying to do it actually slows down productivity.
Humans are only truly able to focus on one thing at a time. So, drop the multitasking and teach your crew how to focus solely on one task at a time. Concentrating on that task completely, even for just five minutes, helps them finish it sooner, and they are able to do more in that time.
Read a good book
One of the keys to reducing worker stress is to give them time to read fiction. Studies have shown that people who read fiction are more creative in their work. They are able to think of ideas outside of the norm. Taking five minute breaks to read a good piece of fiction will go a long way toward increasing productivity.
It may not be possible to implement every one of these exercise in a day, but giving your crew choices to allow them to reduce their stress will increase their productivity. They will also be grateful to work in an environment that cares about their mental and physical health. So your retention will increase too. And don’t forget your own productivity. These exercises will help increase your productivity also.
Article by Clarissa Caouette