Only 20 percent of us feel fully engaged in our jobs. And over 40 percent of us are actively disengaged at work. The same study, along with approximately 100 others, has shown that those who are actively engaged in their jobs perform the highest. Those who are dissatisfied and therefore not performing up to par are not just concentrated in one or two countries rather, these statistics come from a global study done out of 90,000 employees in 18 countries. So, ultimately, the question is, what can be done to boost our performance and is anyone researching this topic?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. One notable team researching this topic is, Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr. Based on their work titled, "The Energy Project" and a co-authored book, "The Power of Full Engagement," they have one answer that may explain what has gone wrong with the way that we are working in the typical 9-5 realm.
The duo suggest that humans operate best in short spurts rather than long stretches of extended exertion, "Human beings are actually designed to pulse, the researchers write, "we're most productive when we move between expending energy and intermittently renewing our four energy needs: sustainability (physical), security (emotional); self expression (mental) and significance (spiritual). The list below covers all four of these "energy needs."
1. Take a Break Every 90 Minutes. Schwartz and Loehr state that this break cycle keeps the body "in alignment with its natural rhythms. Just as we cycle through stages of sleep at night, so we go through similar cycles every 90 minutes throughout the day, moving between periods of high energy then dipping down into lower energy."
2. Focus on One Thing at a Time Rather than Multi-Task. We all know trying to work, text and talk to our significant other can only lead to trouble on all accounts.
3. Positive thinking and Self Talk. Naturally, positive emotions help boost performance. Cultivate awareness by stopping and noticing your results at the end of the workday and realize the value inherent in your accomplishments.
4. Plan Plan Plan. Decide ahead of time where and when you're going to do a specified task and use a planner to write down your schedule.
5. Exercise, Movement and Stretching: how much we move influences our health, our energy, our mood our focus and our productivity. To refresh the brain try taking a 15 minute walk 2 times daily.
6. Make Boundaries Between Home and Work: define the limit to the end of your workday so that when you are with family or friends you can let go of work and be present for those you care about. When working at home set aside designated times and make it clear to others around you when you will be unavailable.
7. Opt for Healthy Ways to Re-Fuel Your Body: when we're working long stretches and stressed we tend to reach out for that 3rd cup of coffee or sugar laden snack to give us a quick boost. When we slow down, we can make more time to make good healthful choices towards refueling our minds and our bodies and ultimately boosting performance in all realms.