Okay, raise of hands. Who here wants to work more than they have to? That’s what I thought. What we really want is to be as productive with our work time as possible, especially those of us who work for ourselves (Yes! Just say “NO” to W-2s). There’s a whole bunch of advice about how to work smarter, not harder, and I want to offer up one more bit: listening to your body will make you more productive.
If you’ve been sitting for too long and need a stretch, you will slow down.
If you really need to pee and you’re trying to get to a stopping place, you will be distracted and not focus as well.
If your blood sugar is dropping, so is your IQ.
Your body is the spokesperson for that part of you that is monitoring all things internal and will tell you when something is out of balance. Keep your body in balance and it will keep humming along like a Maserati. And so will your productivity!
Your body can also help you make decisions. (Ever hear of a ‘gut feeling’?) A part of your body can act like a meter and give you feedback about whatever you are thinking about. So, if you have choices to make, you can run different scenarios through your mind and see how that part of your body responds.
Many people start by listening to their solar plexus or their throat or their heart center. If one possible choice causes it to tighten, that is most likely a “no”. If the area relaxes more, that is most likely a “yes”. Where do you want to go on your next vacation? What’s for dinner? Zumba or hot yoga? Who to assign to a specific account at work? I bet if you try, you will find dozens of opportunities every day to use your body meter.
Your body can help you with bigger decisions, too.
For your highest performance, stay in your flow: listen to your body, interpret its messages correctly, and do what it asks. You’ll be glad you did. When you’re climbing that ladder of success, you want to make sure it’s leaning up against the right wall.
PS If tuning into your body is hard for you, here’s a short audio recording to help you practice.