Today’s global economy is fast paced so that anyone piloting any part of it will often feel overwhelmed and out of touch with other important aspects of life. Even within corporations, executives are usually so caught up in finishing up one project and moving on to the next win that they forget to show gratitude and motivate the team members they are working with.
While this devotion to one’s career, especially at the top executive level, is important in maintaining a stellar managerial record, having other areas of one’s life, like physical and mental fitness suffering a lack of attention will result in less productivity and ill-health.
Therefore, there is the need to discover a point in the middle where you get to stay on top of your demanding career while still staying healthy in mind and body. If you want to stay on top of your game and not let your work wreak havoc on your health and mind as a busy executive, you need to internalize these very valuable tips and become devoted to practicing them.
Get adequate sleep daily
Adequate sleep means between 7 to 8 hours every day. This seems counterintuitive since you also need to put in more work. But when you look at it, the less time you put into getting good rest, the more your physical and mental health deteriorates.
Basically, if you are getting grumpier and fatter while still stressed, it is usually an indication that you are not getting enough rest daily. A lot of people experience back to work blues even after just a long weekend. One explanation is lack of good rest. When you are well rested, you will be sharper and more enthusiastic to get back to work.
Stay socially connected
Like sleep, staying socially plugged-in and connected will help you remain invigorated and consequently perform better at work with full mental capacity. But most importantly, staying socially connected will improve your immune system, lower chances of depression and anxiety and generally keep you healthy.
Therefore, once in a while, leave your desk and go hang out with friends and endeavour to leave any aspect of work behind while you are going to chill with friends. Since you operate a busy schedule as an executive, you can increase your efficiency by combining your social interactions with physical fitness practices. One way to achieve this is to start a sports club with your friends where you get to exercise while catching up at the same time. Generally, the higher you climb on your corporate ladder, the more you should protect your time slot for family and friends’ socialization and bonding.
Actively deal with stress
Staying stress-free is key to staying healthy and mentally sharp. Stress weakens one’s immune system and consequently wreaks havoc on a person’s health. But managing stress doesn’t necessarily mean doing less. It means working in ways that your body views what you are doing differently. If you aren’t having fun working, then you are doing it wrong.
One way to achieve this is to take at least an hour off from work to recharge. Another effective method of dealing with stress is to set daily goals and prioritize. Don’t start off your day and allow all the calls coming in to spiral into chaos. You may never get to attend to everything seeking your attention, especially as a corporate leader. Therefore, always plan and pick the ones that are most exigent.
Studies show that people who eat lots of vegetables and fruits regularly stand less chance of experiencing cognitive decline. Therefore, the older you get and the busier your schedules become, the more you need more allies by your side to protect your mind and body – and healthy foods are your most trusted allies.
While you aim to maintain a sound diet, also stay away from those that do the opposite of keeping your mind sharp. Therefore, smoke and drink less alcohol or quit entirely. You should also know the importance of avoiding sugar because while short term elevated sugar level can make you sharper, over a long period, it can impede memory.
As an executive, you probably won’t be getting enough time to hit the gym trice a week. But that doesn’t excuse you from it. Instead, you have to get creative. For instance, instead of taking a lift, you should use the stairs instead. Such practice will also show good leadership skills because it will inspire your team members to do so when they see you, thereby keeping your entire team sharper and healthier.
When you see this working, you might also want to improve on it by hosting a walk-meeting where, instead of using the boardroom, you get out and take a walk with them while holding your meetings. This ought to get your creative juices pumping.
Eat breakfast regularly
Another thing your busy schedule as an executive will tempt you into doing is skipping breakfast. There are lots of health benefits of eating breakfast. When you deny yourself breakfast, you are denying it the energy it needs to regain after a good night’s rest. When you subject your brain and body to work without fueling them first, it becomes detrimental to your health.
Yogurt, eggs, milk, and cereal are great breakfast choices. You can also pack yourself a midmorning or lunch snack on your way out. Your ‘breaking of fast’ is important especially when you work hard over a long period of time – which is the life of an executive.
Work with your hands
There are sound cognitive benefits to making use of your hands. But mostly, apart from musicians who play the guitar and everyone else whose profession involves the use of the hands, people hardly remember to do so. As an executive, you are likely going to fall into this category of people.
However, when you perform any activity that involves your hands and which will improve your dexterity in that act, your brain is improved. The secret is to find a simple activity you will enjoy that involves the use of your hands and engage in it constantly. You don’t necessarily have to pick out a time of day to do that. You can engage in knitting while dictating a memo to your secretary or throw a ball while making a presentation to your team.
No matter how much you use your brain over a long period of time, if what you are doing allows only a limited part of your brain to be excited, you run the risk of dulling yourself mentally. But different puzzles excite different parts of your brain. Crossword puzzles, for instance, excite the memory and language areas of your brain. Some other puzzles do so for the speech or creative parts of your brain. You don’t necessarily have to take out time from your schedule to engage in these, you can do so while walking up stairs.
Living by the “all work and no play” maxim seems almost impossible for present industry leaders. But there is no reason why you should deteriorate physically and mentally if you can’t engage in the popular forms of health maintenance practices. The above are enough to give you that desired effect of good health and mental vibrancy.