Building butts and businesses: exercising to increase your productivity
We both know spare time is hard to find when you’re running a business.
Looking after yourself? Well, it doesn’t make you money.
So it slips down the to-do list.
At least, that’s what I used to think.
Until I realised that eating healthier foods gave me more brainpower.
And exercising makes me more productive. Yep, you heard me.
Carving out 20-30 minutes in my day for a workout makes me get through my work faster giving me…
You guessed it.
More. Free. Time.
A worn-out body and mind struggle to make decisions and let’s face it, we all have decision fatigue already.
I mean, there are 27 different types of long-life milk to choose from. Not to mention the 529 business coaches who sound Ah-Mazing and have similar offers.
Life is chock full of decisions to make.
Sometimes just choosing which task to start in your workday is exhausting.
I get it. Asking to you make time for exercise might have your hand rising to moon-slap me. (Showing my age here.)
But I promise you.
If you start walking a little more.
Do a yoga session.
Swim in the ocean.
Or play tennis with a buddy.
You’re going to find running your business gets easier. Can I get a heck yeah?
Don’t believe me? Researchers have proven it.
You’ll get more done because your energy is firing.
Especially if you start your day with some movement.
You’ll also waste less time procrastinating, being stuck in ‘I can’t be bothered’ mode. Wiping the lack of sleep from the corners of your eyes.
Instead, you’ll be wide awake, fired-up and ready to go.
Get yourself motivated
Owning a business is a lifestyle, it’s on your brain all the time. So it’s the perfect motivator to get your butt outta that chair and onto your bike.
When my eldest started primary school a decade ago, I committed to walking or riding to school every morning unless there was a strong reason that I couldn’t.
Raining? Let’s go.
Windy? So what.
Hot summer’s day? Let’s get out and exercise before it’s 38C.
On the days when we ride, my favourite part is zooming home on the bike after dropping them all off.
I’m lucky (not really) that no matter which route we take, it’s uphill on the trip there and on the way home. There’s a nice little dip between our house and school making sure I have to pedal like a duck caught in a riptide.
I could cruise along and then walk it up the hills.
But where’s the fun in that?
Speeding downhill makes my palms sweaty and my heart pounding.
Getting up those hills demands a lot of mental coaching.
“Come on Kara, you can do it.”
Sometimes the slog up that darn hill feels like it suddenly got 40 degrees steeper. Anyone driving past will see me head down, muttering to myself.
Willing myself on. (Yup, I’m a weirdo who talks to herself and I’m okay with it.)
The benefits to pushing myself are:
- I feel satisfied that I’ve done some exercise early in the day.
- I get a thrill as I whoosh down the hill.
- I use the same coaching techniques to get myself home for my kids on the way to school. The neighbours probably know my voice instantly from all the yelling “Come on, push, you can do it.”
- When I get home, I rehydrate and rest for a few minutes before launching myself into work. I’ve got ideas flooding through my brain with the lovely endorphin hit.
- I focus better on what I need to achieve next. Pushing myself uses all of my senses and my mind’s concentration, there’s no time to think about anything, I’m too busy navigating the bumps and watching for cars pulling out of driveways. My brain has already switched into focus mode.
Those rides are filled with purpose. Doing something with an intention creates a far better outcome than doing it just because it’s on the list.
Every task on your daily list can be done with intention.
When you fold the washing, think about how you’re providing clean clothes for your family.
When you’re composing work emails, think about why you need to communicate with this person. Understanding and focusing on the intent behind your actions clears your mind from worrying over the possible outcomes.
Once you hit send, it’s out of your hands, stressing about what will happen next does nothing to impact that. But by being in a stressed state anything you do afterwards won’t be fabulous.
Let me get a bit woo woo for a moment. Is that kind of energy you want your business to carry? Tired and stressed.
Or energised and determined.
(Notice I didn’t say happy? You don’t need to be happy and bubbling allll the time to bring positive vibes into your business.)
The intent behind your actions is what drives your business toward your goals. And your butt toward the couch or the gym.
If moving the needle on the scales or telling yourself you need to get fit isn’t prompting you to take action, do it for your business.
We all want to earn more bucks, right?
Exercise is good for you.
And your bank account.