Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mental Fitness for Peak Performance in the Office

Has something changed? Are you becoming inattentive, unfocused or unproductive at your work these days? If this is minor-moderate, acute and recent, you may be able to reverse course quickly with some simple adjustments to your daily routines.
As an experienced performance coach, I can assure you that you absolutely have the power to change and/or improve your performance at will.
Stress levels and/or performance deficiencies can be excellent barometers for alerting you to mental, physical, nutritional and even emotional health concerns. Nip it in the bud and you're back on your game and in the zone again.

If this condition is becoming chronic or concerning, you may just need a new boss or even a new job. But these signals could very well be early warning signs. In any case, your health is most important…and your mental health awareness can be your clue bird.
If this condition is chronic or concerning, to you or someone that works close to you, please check-in with a wise and learned physician. Most health concerns and even dis-eases are considered preventable now days. And you have heard sage wisdom in "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Stress, specifically the negative stress category, is now proven to be the number one cause of preventable diseases in North America.

Now for this article, let's assume that you are normally productive and organized and that this is all a recent development noticed within the office environment. We will leave inter-personal and intra-personal conflict issues for another article altogether.
Let's also assume that you are basically in good general health, routinely get sufficient sleep of 7-8 hours a night, eat pretty well, get a reasonable amount of exercise, are within moderately healthy weight parameters and generally maintain a moderately well balanced lifestyle. Most important for this piece, let's assume that you are motivated, you like your current job, and are passionate about performing well in your work. You seek out advancement.

If you or others notice that you are losing focus, take steps immediately and often. Physiological performance and state of mind will often respond to even minor adjustments in routines.
Our brains and our bodies are the best pharmaceutical factory ever created. Peak performance depends on good precursors to produce effective results. Brain function can be dramatically enhanced with simple adjustments. The following techniques are effective for most conditions, but these are essential ingredients for all corporate athletes in order to ensure mental fitness and peak performance.
Change-up monotonous routines often
Whatever routines are repetitive and monotonous should be examined. Our muscles, brains and bodies can get bored and uninterested. We will hit plateaus or even backslide. Athletes experience this. So do corporate athletes. Change your routines to keep them fresh and interesting, or at least, create something new and interesting within any un-changeable tasks. Take a different way to the office and back home. Listen to good music or inspirational material. Make routines more fun. And yes, you really can even fake until you make it.
Read, walk, breathe and refresh during break time
Energizing your brain power is as easy as refreshing your body/mind with mental and physical stimulation. Read something stimulating or funny. Skip the elevators. Walk up and down stairs. Go for a walk. Take a power break. Breathe!
Breathe deeply and learn about alternate nostril breathing techniques. You can close your eyes and go to a relaxing space in your imagination to refresh your mind and lower stress. The body/mind responds well to mental relief and exercise.
Energize by eating and drinking regularly
Small meals more often are better that one or two large meals a day. Take your time and pay attention when it comes to nutrition routines. A healthy breakfast is vital to peak performance. Munch on healthy snacks during the day. Keep a bottle of good water on your desk to maintain hydration.
Our planet is covered by about 70% water. Our brain is about 70% water. A healthy bodyweight is composed of about 70% water. Our blood is about 83% water. What percent of your particular diet should be water? Depends, but it is said that most of us are chronically dehydrated.
With these basic pointers, you can get back on the right track. Of course, these are just a few of the basics. But don't wait for alarms. Listen to your body/mind. And others will often notice minor changes in us first. Now, if you have financial stress, that's a whole different discussion. Exercise and reward your mind/body in order to maximize your performance in the office.

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