Losing track of where you are? Miss a deadline, because you thought it was one days from now instead of today? The good news is you probably aren’t a victim of senility. The bad news is your sedentary work routines may be killing you. Not quickly; in tiny increments, similar to slow-creep weight gain.
Fortunately, this slow-death process is not only reversible, but by taking the right steps, you’ll soon be feeling better than ever. Your productivity will noticeably improve, and 5 or 10 years down the road you’ll still be in top form.
A web designer’s work may not appear to be physically demanding, but sitting all day and staring at a screen, and fighting to meet deadlines, can eventually take a toll. Here are three areas you can work on to not only prevent bad things from happening, but will help you to keep your energy levels high, and your mind crystal clear.
Take Care of Your Diet
Better than chips, and salmon will keep your mind sharper too.
Sitting most of the day is bad enough. When combined with poor dietary habits, it can turn you into a professional couch potato in no time at all. Think about what you eat while at work – and then think about how you spend your time at home. If you spend your evenings on the couch, munching on chips, it’s high time to make some changes.
Here are three good ways to improve your eating habits:
- Watch what you eat (think nutrition).
- Schedule your meal times (and stick to the schedule).
- Organize your refrigerator – keep it well stocked with fruits and vegetables (and salmon!)
Not only does junk food contain ingredients that are not always good for your body, these foods can lead to nutritional deficiencies if they make up an appreciable part of your diet. Any deficiency in vitamins or minerals can literally cause you memory loss –and make you more susceptible to illness.
Settle for 8 Hours of Work a Day
If your boss insists that you to be at your desk 10-12 hours a day, you might consider looking for work elsewhere. Working long hours may be the norm if you’re working for a startup, but even then, you can accomplish just as much in 8 hours as you can in 10 or 12 if you go about it right. You’ll save wear and tear on your heart as well.
Check the statistics. Those extra 2 or 3 hours a day increases your risk of incurring cardiovascular problems by 60%. It’s just not worth it. The best way to limit your work days to 8-hour sessions, and perhaps the only way, is through self-discipline. You may also have to learn how to say no on occasion.
Working 9 to 5, or the equivalent, has these advantages:
- You will do higher quality work than you can by working extra hours.
- Your productivity will go up.
- You can take pride in your self-discipline and your ability to say no.
- You’ll feel better.
- You’ll have more free time.
There’s probably a number of non-productive things you can cut out to get down to an 8-hour workday, and a workday that includes the breaks you need to relax and clear your mind.
If you’re regularly in bed by 10 and up at 6, you’re likely getting enough sleep. If, for whatever reason, that isn’t the case, you need to think about making some changes.
Not enough sleep, combined with a sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits, can turn you into an old-timer long before you’re ready for it, plus the effects on your body this combination can cause, can be difficult to reverse.
You may not have to make major changes in your lifestyle, unless getting more exercise, working fewer hours, and eating better, are areas where you need to improve in addition to getting enough sleep.
Here are three not-to-difficult-to-follow rules you should try:
- Turn off your PC and set your laptop and digital devices aside at least an hour before bedtime.
- Learn a short relaxation routine or two that you can regularly practice just before going to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and any sugar snacks late in the day.
If you’re on the road a lot, you may have to work a little harder at doing what needs to be done to get enough sleep. The reason is simple. You sleep better in your own bed. When you’re in unfamiliar surroundings, your brain sometimes freaks out a bit. It is more vigilant, and a hyper-vigilant brain is not conducive to falling asleep easily, or sleeping soundly.
Do What You Need to Do to Keep Your Body in Tune
Make it a goal to regularly follow practices that are necessary to keep your energy level high, keep cobwebs from forming in your brain, and keep you healthy and fit. When you’re feeling sharp and alert, you’ll find yourself going about your web design work more efficiently and productively.
Consider making these ideas habit-forming:
- Pay attention to your diet. Getting enough of the proper nutrients such as magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids keeps your mind sharp. Other vitamins and minerals will keep you healthy, and your energy level high.
- Don’t let working overtime or long hours become a habit. Organize your tasks so you can make an 8-hour day a reality. Your performance will actually improve.
- Look forward to a relaxing end of the day, followed by a good night’s sleep. Cut out late snacks, especially those containing sugar, and avoid late-day caffeine intake.