In a recent New York Times article Relax! You’ll be more Productive, author Tony Schwartz, CEO of the nonprofit The Energy Project wrote that frequent breaks–every 90 minutes–will improve your productivity.
“During the day we move from a state of alertness progressively into physiological fatigue approximately every 90 minutes,” writes Schwartz. “Our bodies regularly tell us to take a break, but we often override these signals, stoke ourselves up with caffeine and sugar, and rev up our own emergency reserves: our stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.”
Schwartz points to studies of elite athletes and performers and how they avoid exhaustion but push hard toward excellence. He says it’s not how long you renew on your breaks, but how well.
Sometimes, the emotional exhaustion of our day is the most damaging to our productivity and leadership capacity, as Schwartz shares in his TED Talk: How We’re Working Isn’t Working
Renewing Well – Mindful Leaders
Around the world, major corporations and business schools are adding mindfulness to their workshops and courses to help create mindful leaders: someone who is focused, clear, creative and compassionate, even in the midst of the complexities of today.
Phillipe Goldin explains how improved attention is the way to achieve these, and it can be developed with mindfulness -- paying attention is a particular way.
While the idea of mindfulness originates in the practice of meditation, it has “many applications for executives who aren't looking for a spiritual fix but simply want to clear their heads and become aware of reflexive, emotional reactions that can lead to bad decisions,” according to the Huffington Post.
“Mindful people make much better leaders than frenetic, aggressive ones, said Bill George. “They understand their reactions to stress and crises, and understand their impact on others. They are far better at inspiring people to take on greater responsibilities and at aligning them around common missions and values.”
Next: Time for nothing!