We’re a little over halfway through February, and many of us made New Year’s Resolutions to become overall healthier in some way – being more active, eating better, or even enriching ourselves with intellectual pursuits. Now is about the time when, for some of us, our resolve begins to wane, and we begin to do those things less while work enters busier seasons. However, engaging in healthy behaviors around the office may help to keep yourself motivated outside of work, and they will help your productivity during the day! Following any of these four tips will be a great start in helping you to achieve this.
Nourish Your Body
Rather than heading to the vending machine for your 10AM or 3PM pick-me-up of chips or crackers, consider keeping healthier snacks close by! Our Nimble team’s fridge and shelves are always stocked with nutritious snacks such as Greek yogurt, nuts, and pre-portioned 100-calorie packs of whole grain foods. Of course, we do love our granola bars and smoked salmon too, so those are always available for consuming in moderation! If healthier choices are not available, you might consider bringing them from home! Eating more nutritious snacks will help with concentration and increase productivity.
Get Up and Move
If most of your day revolves around a desk and chair, it is very important to make sure that you take some time to move! This could be as short as stepping outside for a five minute break, walking outside or around your building during a meeting with a colleague, or walking to lunch and back. Even if you brought lunch, eating away from your desk will get a walk in and help you to recharge.
If you are only able to manage a couple of short walks during the day, at least it is something and your body and mind will thank you! At Nimble headquarters in sunny Santa Monica, we are very fortunate to have a CEO who loves to walk and be active, and many of our team meetings occur outside during a walk around the block.
For offices where this is not possible, or busier days, there are small things that can be done around the building, or even at your desk! For example, you might take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take some time to consciously sit up straight or stretch at your desk. This article from Forbes contains some handy tips, and a helpful video to demonstrate some exercises at various levels of noticeability. If your workspace allows it, perhaps you might even consider a standing desk!
Rest Your Eyes
Today, most office work involves being behind a screen, whether it is a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Even with all of your office equipment set up at the proper distance and angle (see TIME’s article “How to Avoid Computer Eye Strain”), constantly looking at screens can cause eye irritation and possibly damage.
To prevent eye strain, it is incredibly important to give your eyes a break at regular intervals throughout the day. Though this would ideally involve spending some time outside or walking around the building, sometimes it is not possible to do so. In these cases, a great alternative is to look at something in the distance, perhaps out a window or down the hall, for a short period of time at regular intervals throughout the day.
Have trouble remembering to look away from time to time? Try using your phone alarm or having an app open in another browser tab to remind you when time has passed. For example, simply Google the word “timer”, and then set the time interval as needed!
Nourish your Mind
Just like nourishing your body, nourishing your mind is essential to maximize productivity. When you first arrive at work in the morning, before you start your day, take a few minutes at your desk to pursue anything that helps you to relax and recharge, or challenge yourself. Whether this is simply meditating over a cup of coffee, reading a short story every day, or working on a crossword puzzle or brainteaser, any of these activities can help to get your mind engaged and ready for anything. These can be done at any time of that that you might need to recharge and refocus.
Whether you are looking to maintain goals that were set as New Year’s Resolutions, combat that 3PM slump, or simply find a way to change up your day, following any (or all) of these four tips for a healthy office lifestyle can help in your daily productivity and overall wellbeing.