Call or Text: 303-444-8707 | 2955 Baseline Road Boulder, Colorado 80303 | Email:

The Paradox of Productivity 

The Paradox of Productivity 

August 2017 

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY….. Somehow, in the US, we equate busy with more productive, and often morally superior. The puritan work ethic is alive and well, but how well is it working for us? 

“Determine never to be idle… It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing.” Thomas Jefferson. 

While Thomas Jefferson was brilliant in many ways, he got this one wrong. 

The value of rest is underrated, and often ignored. Looking at success in athletics or competition of any kind, high achievers have secrets to share. 


The best athletes make gains by having focused, intense periods of work followed by equally deliberate rests. For example, after weightlifting almost to the point of muscle failure/exhaustion, muscles break down. It is during the rest interval that magic happens. Muscles recover, rebuild, and get stronger. Getting the right balance of focused work to physical and psychological recovery is part of what separates the best from the rest.


For every 90 minute work period, taking a 15 minute break enhances productivity. This is the perfect time to do your home exercise program. The harder and more focused the work, the shorter the work period should be before you take a break. Studies show that after two hours of concentrated work, productivity diminishes. Are you taking the 

breaks you need to stay on task? 


Even a six-minute walk around 

the office, or better yet, outside, 

allows your brain to reset and 

unleash your creative juices. 

People who walked in nature for 

even six minutes were 60% 

more creative than those who 

did not leave their desks. Even 

indoors, a six-minute walk 

increased creativity 40%. So if 

you are working hard and getting 

stuck, get moving. 

Walking is the perfect break activity: not so taxing that you have to focus on it, but just enough to relax the conscious mind and allow the subconscious (creative) mind to emerge. P.S.: Leave your smart phone behind.


Nature enhances positive moods, and 

has been linked to decreases in 

Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a molecule 

associated with inflammation. An article 

in the journal Emotion correlated the 

feeling of awe with the greatest 

reduction in IL-6. The suggestion was 

that being in nature decreases stress 

and thus decreases inflammation. Not 

sure? Take a relaxing walk around 

Chautauqua and see for yourself. 

Riding my bike home from work at the 

end of a long day is just the interlude I 

Jane enjoying a run in Boulder Open Space 


need to create a more relaxing evening. Movement is medicine and turning off my brain for 20 minutes does wonders to switch me into rest mode. 

One measure of systemic recovery 

is the hormonal ratio of 

testosterone to cortisol – the 

higher the ratio, the better. 

Coaches have discovered that 

hanging out relaxing with the 

team does more for recovery 

than massage, ice baths, or 

almost anything else. Coach 

Steve Magness, author of Peak 

Performance, has observed this 

with his runners, and it’s 

corroborated by research at 

the University of Bangor (UK). 

We value productivity. But, paradoxically, rest is often the missing part of the equation for getting the most out of our time. 


Get Your Balance On! 

Are you not feeling as steady 

as you used to? 

Would you like to increase 

confidence in your balance? 

Join us for a 

N’Balance™ & Fall Prevention Class 

with Kristine Bellinger, PTA 

12 Classes total to be held 

on Wednesdays & Fridays 

Starting September 6th 

1:00 – 2:00 pm 

Cost – $240 for the series 

6 spots available 

N’Balance is an evidence-based balance class for 

older adults (60+) designed to not only improve balance

but also reduce the fear of falling. 


or call the front desk (303) 444-8707 

to reserve your time today 

I look forward to helping you regain your confidence! AL


Leave a Comment