Every employer and every company seeks to hire and retain the brightest, most productive employees. Presumably, highly productive employees are more valuable, generating more revenue in a shorter period of time. There are dozens and dozens of articles out there that cover tips and tricks for increasing productivity; there are hundreds of apps targeted at achieving the same goal. I'd like to talk about natural productivity though; those little things that you do for your body and your mind to make yourself the most centered and productive person you can be. Three of my go-to tricks that often get discussed are:
1. Fresh air: whether it's ten minutes to sit outside and soak up some sunlight, or a few laps around the block to get your blood flowing, a few minutes outside is bound to help you return to work recharged and refocused.
2. Naps: sometimes it's just inevitable. You've been up late working or traveled home late the night before. When you're truly exhausted, trying to get any work done is nearly impossible. It would be far more productive to take a quick 20 minute nap and actually get some work done for the rest of the day.
3. Breaks from the computer screen: the human brain just isn't meant to focus that long on a screen. Plus, it's terrible for your eyes. At just 22 years old, I've lost my 20/20 vision and had to get glasses for distant presentations. A quick break from staring at your screen can help protect your vision, prevent headaches, and help you complete tasks more efficiently.
Why is it, though, that doing any of these things inherently makes me feel guilty? Why is it socially unacceptable to take a much-needed nap, and why are we berated or asked what we are doing when we aren't click-clacking away on the keyboard?
I'm trying to train myself to accept that these behaviors are allowed, and that they should actually be encouraged. There is a larger culture shift that has needed to occur ever since we developed this 24-hour workday mentality. It's not healthy, and at the end of the day, happy and healthy employees are the productive ones who generate the most return. All employers should take a cue from Google, and understand that "happier workers use their time more effectively."