November 10, 2022

Daily habits of productive leaders: Remember to breathe

Sometimes as we enter the latter part of the year, and fourth quarter targets and deadlines are fast approaching, we can find ourselves flat out on those last-minute must-haves. While maintaining focus is imperative to hit targets, it’s also important that you remember to breathe. Avoiding burnout now is key to making sure you’re in the best shape to face the new year and the next set of targets too.

At Selligence, we understand that saving you time puts you ahead of the competition, which can be key to everyday success. Our product delivers increased productivity and maximised efficiency for all our clients. Our all-round solutions will save you hours of tedious research, but how else can we save you time and give you precious breathing space while also improving your overall efficiencies?  

Here are some more easy-to-implement changes to build into your daily routine that will keep your momentum supercharged.

Take a break

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes stepping away from your laptop and putting down the phone is what you actually need. We tend to work so flat out, that the pace we try to maintain can take a huge toll on us, both physically and mentally. Without taking breaks, we’d be fast-tracking ourselves to burnout, so taking short but frequent breaks can be a great way to re-energise.

Perhaps use this break to incorporate some of our other daily habit suggestions, such as having a quick burst of movement to beat stagnation. Building a five-minute yoga session into your working pattern, or a seven-minute HIIT session, can get your heart pumping, helping increase oxygen flow to your brain and allowing you to refocus with fresh insight for your next burst of focused work.  

Many of the ‘big names’ in business are known as great places to work because of their company culture. Think Google. World renowned for having creative spaces and a long list of perks, Google understands that to get the best from its employees, it must create a space in which they can step away from their desks too. Now, not every company would agree with Google’s nap pods, hammocks or pub environments, but most will agree that the work Google employees achieve is revolutionary.  

Bain and Company, a management consultancy for Fortune 500 CEOs, has again been named in the 2022 Fortune 100 Best Companies To Work For, and has touted its team as key to the company’s success. When the company moved to its new headquarters, more thought was given to communal spaces and the team break room. Light, open, and airy space with comfortable seating was provided; since the move to the new space, company communication, output and achievements have all improved and Bain’s employees claim to be happier too.

Refuel

Whether you’re refuelling on food, water, or creative stimuli, taking a five- or ten-minute break can help you keep working without flagging. What’s more, it can improve the quality of your work too. In fact, many studies, such as the University of Illionois’ study, the Pomodoro Technique, or the MIT Sloan School of Management’s study, have shown that taking a short break can improve your productivity; the debate falls on what ratio of work to break is best. Most studies seem to agree this will largely depend on the individual, the type of work they do, and their ability to focus.

Taking a proper lunch break is key to making sure your afternoon sails by smoothly. The Harvard Business Review examined the relationship between productivity and what we eat: “food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance”. While the cheaper, faster lunch options tend to be the more unhealthy options, it’s worth considering what your eating options could be for lunch. Whether you’ve got 30 minutes or an hour, there is time to get some quality food into your system to help speed you through the afternoon.  

Food isn’t the only refuelling we can capitalise on, though. Taking a break to focus on something more creative can not only help destress but can also improve productivity. Stepping away from your desk can help you avoid mental stagnation, gain fresh perspective, and help you relax. It’s well known that stress can completely derail productivity, so finding opportunity to destress is important.  

Companies such as Monzo have enjoyed a range of foody-inspired breaks but have also introduced interest-based clubs such as choir, netball, and yoga. The company hit unicorn status in just three years and boasted a £3.7 billion valuation in 2021, so they’ve obviously been doing something right!

So, whether you’re thinking along the same lines as John D. Rockefeller and Winston Churchill, advocating the post-lunch nap, or if you’re following in Monzo’s steps and enjoying a creative break-time club, it’s important to recognise that focusing your energies will allow you space to breathe, regroup, and maintain constant momentum throughout the day.

What next?

Looking for other ways to save yourself time and boost productivity? Our all-round solution can save you hours of time a day and put you up to three months ahead of your competition.  

Book a quick 15-minute call with our team to see how you can spend less time doing business development and get more time to build stronger relationships with candidates and customers. You can also check out some other daily habits that will supercharge your efficiency, at home and at work.

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