4 health hacks to help workaholics
When you’re in love with two people at the same time, that can be a problem.When you’re in love with two things, however, one plus one can equal a million. In other words, as a workaholic and exercise addict, I’ve learned everything I need to know about how to treat my personal health like I do work deadlines.
If you work for a large corporation and would either like to enact a scaled cultural change or simply integrate wellness into your personal work schedule without your boss noticing, here are four methods to get you going.
Make a Spinning Class as Important as a Meeting
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” – Tony Robbins
If you are a business executive or owner, start with calendar invites. A pilatesclass is now honored as much as your client calls. No negotiation. No cancellation. You’re welcome. Give other examples of wellness things people could schedule — getting someone to come to the office to give people 20 minute massages, afternoon meditations etc.
Work Has Changed and Your Mindset Must, Too
“Your mindset matters. It affects everything — from the business and investment decisions you make, to the way you raise your children, to your stress levels and overall well-being.” – Peter Diamandis
It used to be that the harder and longer you worked, the more respect you earned from your peers. Those long nights and bleary eyes were the sign of a very dedicated employee.
But thanks to our digital-first world today, we’re now on 24–7 whether we like it or not. We tried to maintain that good old approach of long hours means dedication, but we began experiencing burnout. With the advent of working on our phones and iPads we are driving ourselves mad. The first to really expose this phenomenon was Arianna Huffington. In 2016 she became even more vocal about the importance of sleep, a fairly radical departure from priding ourselves on our service to our company by sacrificing our bodies to the grind. Just a year later, every major corporation I consult with is rolling out some version of a wellness initiative. Having run the gamut from on-site health coaches to installing sleep rooms, here are the essentials you need to know in order to have an effective wellness program for your organization without it costing a lot of money or productivity.
Begin with Your Purpose in Mind
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
A Wall Street finance firm probably doesn’t want to play ping pong. A Silicon Valley hoodie-wearing start-up kid may not be into golfing outings.
So often, a well-meaning executive will retrofit best practices they read in articles like this one, which costs them money and increases distractions at work — or even worse, has no effect at all. Begin by asking your employees what attracts them to work with your organization day in and day out and what could make that process better. Design your wellness program from the ground up to boost productivity. Otherwise, a nap room could just get in the way of work. Your true goal here is to make everyone more effective, not less. Sound, well-planned wellness programs don’t have to cost an organization a lot of money. You will find one or two areas where everyone really struggles, and whether your solution for that is work from home days, silent work days, limits on nighttime emails, healthy food options, or even brief at-your-desk online fitness coaching, there is an internet innovation to solve nearly every health issue today. This is where a wellness program becomes a productivity program — when it serves your people better and serves your business purpose as well. And if you’re just looking for a personal goal, ask yourself what the top-of-mind reason is here. Are you trying to look great, feel great or both?
Don’t Talk. Commit.
“Passion and purpose scale — always have, always will.”
– Elon Musk
Don’t let wellness become corporate rhetoric. The great business leaders are those who see that we must treat each other as whole people. Life and work have intersected; we have no choice. Companies that commit to caring for their people will always outperform those who don’t. The numbers may not be ideal in the short term, but retaining your best employees and cultivating them saves huge over the long term. The more you truly commit to caring for every side of your employees, the sooner you overcome the disengagement virus corporate America faces today.
If You Can’t Achieve Organizational Buy-In, Buy In Anyway
“Screw it, let’s do it!” – Richard Branson
Most every business has a wellness program already, whether you like it or not. If hunching over a desk for hours at a time is your status quo, well, that’s your current wellness program. My point is, you don’t have to gain widespread buy-in and launch an overt initiative to have wellness at your workplace. Making small changes over time can provide a positive net effect on your employee wellness and engagement. Take after Steve Jobs and start encouraging your employees to take walking meetings outdoors. Set a five-minute calendar invite to remind people to get up and stretch. Whatever you do, no matter how small, you will help yourself and others extend your happiness. And isn’t that what work and life should be?