Wanting to get on top of our to-do list, complete the projects long before they are due and have a greater work-life balance, whatever that means, is something that very many of us want to achieve. The mountain that stands between us and becoming the ultimate worker bee, however, is momentous. How on earth do we become more productive, after all we’re already working ourselves to the bone?
Being able to do more has surely been the aim of the workforce since the age of the Industrial Revolution; however recent researchsuggests that the key to being more productive may lie in doing a lot less. They postulate that through the indulgence of regular holidays, frequent exercise occurring within the daylight hours, the vicarious use of naps and the following of a sleep schedule will result in us being more productive.
How relaxation time boosts you in the corporate world.
A lack of sleep due to an extended number of hours in the workplace was found to be one of the key predictors of job turnover. It has been found that Americans on average leave 9.2 vacation days free per year, and that the vast majority of those planning on going on vacation intended to do work while there.
This is not good for productivity. It has been found that the human body works in cycles of ninety minutes, so every ninety minutes the human brain requires some form of a break, whether this be a walk outside or a trip to buy some energy revitalizing green tea, a break is still essential.
Professor K. Anders Ericson and his colleagues out of Florida State University, found that many experts in disciplines as varied from chess and acting to sports, worked within the 90 minute cycles of the human body. They took regular breaks, were insanely productive and ultimately never ended up working for more than 4 and a half hours per day.
Research from Stanford’s own Cheri D. Mah found that when professional basketball players were required to increase their sleep to ten hours on a nightly basis, their ability to perform was significantly increased. Both their free-throw and three-point shooting accuracy was raised by an average of 9%.
How relaxation helps with your mental wellbeing.
In a 2012 study out of the University of California, Mara Mather PhD, found that when people are highly stressed they are less likely to make well-balanced decisions. In fact, they are more inclined to view only the advantageous points and neglect to factor in any of the downsides to that decision.
A further downside of being highly stressed is that you are far more likely to choose foods that satisfy your cravings, but ultimately lead to weight gain. In another study out of the University of Cambridge, it was found that individuals who were most able to handle stressful events had a far lower likelihood of developing a stroke within their lifetime.
Research out of the University of Sussex found that individuals who read for a mere six minutes, in complete silence, were found to have a drop in stress levels by 68%. This is hugely significant as reading is known as one of the best methods of stress reduction. Listening to music, drinking a hot beverage such as tea and taking a short walk did lower stress levels in the test subjects as well.
The six minutes of reading resulted in significantly lowered heart rates. Strain within the muscles and stress levels were lower than before the experiment began. Reading is a particularly good method, as it can be any type of book that appeals to the reader, so long as it fully encapsulates the attention of the reader.
There are multiple benefits to meditation. Research out of the Sydney Medical School by Manocha R and colleagues found that just two silent meditations on any given day were enough to significantly lower both stress and depressive symptoms in workers.
It has been proven that athletes and patients with psychological disorders have positive benefits from taking the time to engage in physical activity. These include a reduction in depression and stress as well as an increase in overall positive mental state. Exercise boosts feelings of happiness and of relaxation.
Exercise has the additional advantage as it allows for protection of the brain, which is essential for not just productivity, but life in general. Relaxing can help increase your productivity and your general quality of life starting today. It helps your mental acuity, protects you from depression and helps you achieve your deadlines. It can also help improve your quality of life.
The only thing left to ask is are you going to pick up a good book or go for a really nice, long well deserved nap? Whatever you decide, it’s time to start relaxing.
Bio: Sarah writes about the ins and outs of relaxation on Relax Everyday. There, you will learn techniques such as meditation, massage, and mindfulness – all of which lead to a healthier body and a balanced mind.
by Sarah Jones -