Your energy and your attitude drive your success. In order to accomplish your demanding goals year after year, you have to protect your health and relationships. In doing so, you free up your mind to do your most productive and creative work.
There are activities that you do that create a more enriching life outside of your achievement at work—that’s self-care. As the pressure mounts at work and your to-do list grows, these activities are often the first to get cut out of your days.
Some examples of daily self-care habits that I recommend include: sleeping enough, eating well, exercising regularly, connecting with the people we love, engaging in meaningful hobbies, and making time for personal reflection. Sometimes these things feel like they aren’t worth it because there isn’t a set way to measure their value. But if you pay attention, you will notice how they affect your overall attitude, energy, and performance.
Benefits of Making Time for Self-Care
How many of you have found that you feel like you must choose between your health or relationships and winning at work? I know I did for years. But the benefits of self-care actually contribute to better performance at work.
Here are three key benefits of prioritizing self-care that will drive your success at work as well.
- You will have more energy and be more productive. Your brain is not designed to be working all day. In fact, some studies have shown that the opposite is true. One study even showed that with 50 hours of work, only 37 of those were productive. Your brain is designed to need breaks.
It’s not that your brain “turns off” but rather by focusing on something else it is able to work more efficiently when it is back on the problem at hand.
As a result, you will get more done by working smarter. This means working in blocks of concentrated time with built-in breaks and rest.
2. You will be more creative. There are countless studies on the benefits of sleep, exercise, and even fun for the brain. Each of these allows your brain to function more effectively. What does this mean for your work?
I have found that when I am making each of these practices a priority, my most creative and innovative ideas are born. Why? Because rather than operating at a deficit, my body is fueled and able to break through problems more easily.
3. You protect yourself from burnout. When you get to the bottom of it, one of the main problems with the hustle fallacy or overwork, is that it is not sustainable. Sure you can put in extra hours during a particular crisis or problem at work. You can’t do it long term. According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, not getting enough sleep is a primary risk factor in developing burnout,.
It’s time to reflect on your week. Do you have time built in for the self-care habits that will enable you to achieve more? If not, what changes can you make immediately to factor in these crucial activities?