The Paradox of Productivity
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 PERFECT BALANCE
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.
BREAK IT UP
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 IS NURTURE
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.
PRACTICING WHAT WE PREACH
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