Working to market and sell for our clients and our organisations, it’s easy to get caught up in busy schedules and forget to look after ourselves. But marketers need wellness to excel and hit those aggressive targets.
Here are some simple tips to help you become more productive, more creative and better able to live up to your ambitions.
Practice single tasking
As an organised project manager, I am constantly doing more than one thing at a time. Even in my personal life, sometimes I find myself watching TV, while eating dinner, while searching through social media on my phone.
Historically, multi-tasking was hailed as a core competency, but it’s long been revealed as a myth. In fact, the ability to single task is increasingly more important to our health and productivity.
Slow down and embrace boredom – it has scientific benefits that will make you a better marketer, including forcing you to activate your imagination more, and stimulate creativity.
Start taking some time out each day to stop and focus on a single task, and fire up your imagination.
I love how my nan will always sign off on cards with LOL – a common misinterpretation of lots of love. But laughing out loud is no joke – it’s important for our wellbeing.
When you laugh, it actually enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, which stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and therefore increases the release of endorphins. These endorphins decrease stress, lower blood pressure and just generally make us feel happy.
Laughter therapy is a real thing, and stems from ancient practice. It helps us work smarter, faster and look at things from new perspectives. And there’s a lot in the world of marketing and advertising to make you chuckle – admit it.
Food vs mood
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. They also say we can’t eat sugar, or fat, or too much meat. Kale is the best vegetable for you, then its watercress. It’s impossible to keep on top of what’s good for us!
It’s important not to get caught up in diet trends and just find what works for you, consulting medical professionals as your situation requires (always consult the professionals).
As marketers we’re arguably more at risk, as we work crazy hours and it’s our job to stay across what’s hot and what’s not. So it’s even more important to acknowledge the relationship between what we eat and your mood; which in turn affects every meeting we sit in and every piece of work we create.
Although what we eat obviously affects our physical state, it also plays a major role in our state of mind (both mentally and emotionally).
A big lunch might leave you feeling depleted and searching for that pick me up in the afternoon (to counteract your blood-sugar level rise and fall). Swap that chocolate bar for healthier alternatives to make you feel more alert during the afternoon. And consider what you have to work on and how what you eat at work might impact your deliverables.
Set (your) boundaries
Thanks to ubiquitous technology, it’s challenging to create separation between work and home life. This is a real challenge for our wellness.
I resisted the urge for a long time to put my work emails on my personal mobile to avoid this, but ultimately gave in because access to emails on my train commute meant I got much more work done and was better able to manage my down time.
Author Simon Sinek has some valuable insights around this topic:
When you get a message, call or social media notification on your phone, it releases dopamine – which is why you feel good. Breaking this addiction helps you draw your own lines between work and life.
Make a start by turning off notifications when you get home, or even better, resist the urge to look at your phone.
My workplace at the time did have an office puppy and I have two fur-babies at home, so I wasn’t short of my cuddle fix, but it did lead me to ponder more on why pets at work make us happier and more engaged.
Oxytocin is released when patting, feeding or interacting with a pet. Studies have shown its release is calming, can improve one’s mood, lower your blood pressure and block stress hormones.
Workplaces that create contact with animals (if your landlord is a spoilsport, you can organise visits from guide dogs in training) are filled with healthier marketers.
Mindfulness minutes a day
Busy is the new black, and it’s terrible for us. We spend so much time planning for the future and replaying the past, that we forget to enjoy and absorb moment we’re in.
I had my wedding last year and I asked guests to not take photos during the ceremony. I wanted people to be engaged in the ceremony rather than watching through the screens of their technology.
Mindfulness is a way of bringing us back to experience life as it happens. The practice is said to have many benefits including increasing fulfilment, reducing stress, raising self-awareness and enhancing emotional intelligence.
In some instances, looking in the past can create depression and looking towards the future can create anxiety. Mindfulness is practice which keeps us balanced in looking at the present. And in a real-time, constantly changing world of digital marketing, mindfulness can be a strategic asset.
I’m an advocate for hydration and the importance of it to the human body (considering it makes up 50-70% of the human body). So yes, I am that person who carries their water bottle everywhere around the office.
If your stomach is rumbling, you’ve got dry lips, have a headache or you’re struggling to concentrate – it’s usually your body’s way of telling you you’re thirsty. So drink up on the job!
Not only that, without it, you can’t efficiently and completely extract all the nutrients from the food you take in.
If purchasing a new water bottle, make sure it’s BPA free to avoid any nasty chemicals entering your body (Swell and Kollab have a great range of insulated bottles in a range of sizes).
Work, REST, Play
Most of us are quite good at the working and playing part, however not so much the rest component. In fact, according to the Sleep Health Foundation, between 33-45% of Aussies have poor sleep patterns that lead to fatigue and irritability.
In addition, almost a third of adults (29%) make errors at work due to sleepiness or sleep problems.
Good-quality sleep is vital for the body and mind to revive, repair and recharge. It helps us:
Process information more effectively
Maintain weight and metabolic rate
Maintain a better mood
Increase our cardiovascular health
Decrease risk of disease
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, the Sleep Health Foundation have put together some great tips to help change your habits.
Foundation is everything; whether it’s a marketing campaign or how you get out of bed.
Wellness isn’t just for employers to think about, it’s for all of us – and getting it right makes us better, healthier marketers.
Emma brings a decade of experience in account and project management. She has worked with a range of industries and client portfolios across B2C and B2B segments including building, government, automotive and professional services.
Having worked in creative, media and marketing agencies in Melbourne, Emma takes pride is driving her clients’ success while managing an internal team to help bring a client’s goals to fruition.
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