Whether you’re getting ready for a ski trip, or hoping to see the green shoots of Spring soon, a little time away from your desk could be just what you need to inject some life into your career. We all work extremely hard these days. Our expectations of what constitutes a normal work day have changed enormously. 6 out of 10 people work late regularly with half of these blaming their company. We need to keep sight of the fact that too much time at our desk is bad for our creativity, relationships, tempers and ultimately our productivity. Those who get ahead at work are fresh, rational and see clearly. Try these tips.
- Tech-free time. It has become the norm to be glued to our electronic devices at all times. Tech-free time is a must for a flourishing career. Start by putting your phones, or computer, out of reach for meal times. Even if you are eating alone, or grabbing a quick lunch, have a brief break from technology.
- Desk break. If you eat at your desk regularly, which is a reality for so many, have a very quick rest from your work or computer whilst doing so. Pop your headphones in and listen to some music or a podcast. Read an actual paper instead of a website. Did you know that the reason our eyes get tired when we work is that we blink less? Give your eyes a break whilst you refuel.
- Fresh air, fresh ideas. Time outside is a key factor for a career winner. Its free and easy to take a short walk. This is a brilliant idea if you have had to eat at your desk, or don’t have much time for the gym. By walking for 20 minutes after lunch, you’ll be hitting so many of your goals whilst spending absolutely nothing.
- Power down at night. I’m a firm believer in great sleep making great careers. This means winding down properly before bed, and switching off all your devices. Luckily, for us, the pineal gland, a pea-size organ in the brain, begins to release melatonin a couple of hours before bedtime, reducing alertness and making sleep tempting. Unfortunately, the blue light from your smartphone, makes it harder for the pineal gland to release melatonin, so taking technology to bed makes it much harder to sleep. Switch off well before bedtime and do something more relaxing.
- Human quality time. To get ahead at work, have some quality time with another human being every single day. 1 in 10 workers said their work-life balance was so skewed, they didn’t eat a single meal with their family all week. Personal relationships are critical to career success so try and eat a meal with another human on a daily basis. If that sounds crazily impossible to you, think about it again!