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Something as simple as a midday walk could be the key to improving your productivity.
Tight deadlines, high-stakes negotiations and the desire to stand out amongst your peers are just a few of the reasons it can be tempting to burn the midnight oil.
As our work lives get more hectic, self-care is an increasingly helpful tool for delivering on the job while maintaining your overall health and relationships. Here are five simple ways to care for yourself while boosting your career.
1. Be a goal digger
Keeping track of your goals and making a plan to achieve them is an obvious way to advance up the corporate ladder. But setting and achieving goals outside of the office — both big and small — is equally important. Articulating what you want to accomplish is the first step towards realizing a goal. Take some time to assess what you’d like to achieve financially, physically and mentally in the next year. Once you know what you want to do, write it down and map out the steps you need to take to get there.
No matter what your goals are, they should motivate you to keep forging ahead. Challenge yourself to push outside of your comfort zone. And remember that just like any other relationship in life, it’s important to check in with yourself periodically to see how things are going. Recognize how far you’ve come and recalibrate whenever necessary.
2. Nature equals nurture
Staring at a computer screen is a necessary part of most corporate careers, so powering down and connecting with nature can be hugely beneficial for stress relief and ingenuity. Instead of hitting up the coffee cart or vending machine during an afternoon lull, break up your work day with a walk in the park or a quick visit to a green space. It’ll give you an instant energy boost — without that inevitable caffeine or sugar crash.
3. Give in to the urge to splurge
You work hard for your money. If you don’t reap the rewards of your efforts every now and again, you may lose the motivation to keep advancing in your career. It’s a well-known fact that rewarding employees inspires increased performance, but if your boss isn’t the incentivizing type, you can easily apply this motivational technique to yourself. Set a goal for your week, hit it and then go ahead and treat yourself. No one is saying you need to charter a Mediterranean yacht, but allowing yourself to indulge a little will remind you that your efforts are worthwhile.
4. Book a break
The daily grind can make it difficult to consistently come up with inspired ideas. Unplugging (both literally and figuratively) can change all that. A vacation may be all you need to solve any nagging work issues or come up with a strategy for strengthening your department. After all, a change of scenery often comes with a change of perspective.
5. Sweat it and forget it
While it might feel counterintuitive to take an hour out of your busy day, studies show that a midday workout boosts productivity and helps you gain clarity in stressful situations. After a good workout, you’re more alert and in tune with your emotional state. You’re refocused and reinvigorated enough to take on projects the same way you attacked your spin class. This explains why so many corporations are integrating fitness initiatives into their corporate culture. If your office doesn’t do this, make sure you schedule your sweat sessions in your calendar just as you would a team meeting.
Ensuring that you take a little time out of your day to focus on yourself is more important than you might think. From boosting productivity to maintaining peace of mind, self-care has a surprising amount of influence on work performance. So take care of yourself — your family, friends and even your boss will thank you.