In our digital age, technology is, more than ever before, intertwined in our daily routines. The blurred lines between our personal lives and work inherently leads to a “digital overload” for our minds.
In November while attending the European Women In Tech Conference, one of the most memorable talks we attended was by Angie Vaux, CEO of Women in Tech Forum, UK. During her session, Angie shared some insights and practical advice on where and how to start your own well-being journey. In this article, we will share the standout insights and strategies that resonated with us during her talk.
“Time management is about making good time. Energy management is about making time good”.
To measure effectiveness, time measurement and management are important. But when only measuring time and not energy, it will have a negative impact on our wellbeing, creativity and productivity.
Let’s get started with the first strategy to enhance daily structure and integrated breaks.
1. New daily rituals
Do you think keeping up a routine is hard work? It has been proven that having no routine or structure is much more exhausting than any routine could ever be. Since we are what we repeatedly do: let’s aim for excellence, which is not an act, but a habit.
Below we list some great pointers that can get help you get started on establishing a healthy routine.
- Create a morning routine
– Rise at your usual time and don’t look at your phone immediately
– Pause before starting your day, by planning your day and defining your goals
- Set clear boundaries
– Set start and end times for work and have your lunch clearly scheduled
- Take mindful breaks
– For every 60-90 minutes, make sure to take a 5-minute break
– Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, having 15 min left to process or take a break
- Device-free time
– Plan device-free time every day, gaining more detached moments from phone
- Before you go to bed
– Make time to practice reflection of your day by celebrating wins
2. Tips for focus and productivity
Our mind is for having ideas, not holding them, so we need to keep our thinking capacity as free as possible to optimise our cognitive function. We can achieve this by taking the following steps:
- Use proven methods to improve productivity
– Research and find a method for task prioritisation that suits your personality and established way of working
– Simple prioritisation can already lead to some blockers being removed and pathways to increased productivity being opened
- Include not more than 6 things on your to-do list
– Commit to having 1 big task and 5 smaller ones
- Work in blocks of time
– Schedule uninterrupted and focused time for core activities
– Take regular breaks between these blocks
- Daily check-ins with the team
3. Methods to improve attention
Attention please! For the past 10-15 years, we’ve experienced a massive decrease of attention span with distractions every 8 seconds. This shocking fact reminds us – for 8 seconds – that we need to rewire our brain, to train ourselves to focus and pay full attention by bringing awareness to the moment. We can practice some of the below methods to improve in this area.
Becoming calmer through focusing on deep, smoother breathing
Paying attention to what’s sensed by our bodies and stopping our auto-pilot. If you’re carrying tension in any part of your body, breathe deeply and release while exhaling. Bring your awareness to the moment and to your surroundings, sounds and smells. Keep practicing to transit your hyper alertness to a calm, peaceful state of mind.
- Mindful eating
Enjoy and appreciate what you’re tasting: pay attention to the flavours.
- Mindful communication
Using our EQ to connect with people on a different and deeper level, by offering them the gift of full attention. You will find out that this drives more powerful and meaningful relationships.
- Mindful walking
Getting fresh air and learning to be in touch with your outside surroundings
4. Mental health advice
Do we still have your attention? Is your breathing a little slower and more pronounced than normal? Good, the strategies are already paying off!
A quick recap:
- Declutter your surroundings, particularly your work space
- Limit checking social media and online news, notice how liberating this is
- Manage anxieties, talk about how you’re feeling
- Be present, give people the gift of your full attention
- Be in the moment, accept the moment, be grateful
Reflect on your work days by celebrating your goals, exercise self-compassion and schedule clear time for focused work and needed breaks. And as we all know, integrating new routines takes time – so keep committed to optimizing your health and wellbeing, practicing these tips & tricks consistently.
Excited to learn more from Angie Vaux? Discover more here or join her Women in Tech Forum, an exclusive community for women who want to get ahead in their careers.
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