Working in a fast-paced, high stress, creative environment often means you’re always on the go. Managing tasks, running campaigns, trying to meet deadlines, all while trying to juggle multiple projects and events.
Meaning that often you barely have enough time to get through the day, making it even harder to balance the rest of your life or focus on your health.
How do I know? I used to work in marketing, so I know exactly how challenging it can be.
Because of that the aim of this article is to share some strategies with you that you can incorporate into your everyday routine to help you start taking control, regardless of how hectic or busy you may be.
You plan for every other part of your day, so if you’re serious about getting your health on track then you need to treat it in exactly the same way.
That means looking at your calendar and working out ways to fit healthy changes into your routine.
Whether that’s freeing up some time to exercise, cooking some healthy meals, setting aside time to eat or even taking a break to destress.
New habits and actions take time to become part of your routine, so schedule them in just like you would with any other important meeting, and make sure you find a way to keep yourself accountable for sticking to them.
2) Have a goal
With any major project, you will have an end goal in sight, from which you can then map out a step by step plan on exactly how you will get there. That makes it far less daunting and overwhelming, all while being easier to manage and deal with setbacks.
Whether your goals are weight loss, fitness or even improving your overall health, start by writing them down.
This simple action is the first step in getting started, and from there you can work out the exact plan of how to achieve them.
Not only that, but once they are written down they become ‘real’, rather than simply being another desire in the back of your mind and from there you can break them down into manageable chunks.
3) Start small
The reason why dieting and quick fix programmes don’t work is they are all about huge grand gestures and overhauling everything at once, meaning that they aren’t even remotely maintainable long term.
In your high stress environment the last thing you need is more pressure, which is exactly what these crazy programmes are doing.
That’s why instead you need to focus on small gradual changes that you can easily fit into your day, such as drinking more water, eating more vegetables or walking more.
Then once you have built a solid foundation you can continue building on it from there.
4) Get creative
Can’t make it to the gym? Work out at home.
Can’t find an hour to workout? Break it up into 30 or even 15 minute chunks.
Don’t have time to cook everyday? Set aside an hour or two to bulk cook lunches on a Sunday.
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences there will be numerous ways to streamline processes or free up some time.
I actually put together a strategy guide for getting round the barrier of time for exercising and eating healthier.
5) Think on the go
Turn that meeting into a walk.
Fresh air will help manage stress and get the creative juices flowing, all while helping to get you away from sitting behind a desk and become more active.
6) Get the whole team involved
Use improving health as a team building exercise where you all set a goal and keep each other accountable.
Whether that’s trying to lose weight, training for a fun run or any other activity you can base it around.
Use walks or runs as time to listen to audio books or podcasts to expand your knowledge, helping you grow and develop your career.
8) Train smarter
If you have a proper fitness regime you can save time by training ‘smarter’ and ensuring you get the most value out of the time you do put to use.
After all, 30 minutes of a properly structured workout is far more effective than an hour spent aimlessly bouncing around from one machine to another in a gym.
9) Stop trying to be perfect
With how much stress we face on a daily basis we are constantly trying to be perfect.
This mindset is simply too much pressure, which goes a long way in explaining why change can be so overwhelming.
Your goal should be consistency and trying to be better, not perfect.
So stop worrying so much and instead aim to make the ‘healthy’ decision 80% of the time, and don’t dwell on the times you decide to enjoy yourself.
That’s what balance is truly all about.
10) Take a step back
Don’t overlook the benefits of simply freeing up some time for yourself to relax and unwind.
This can go a long way in clearing your mind and helping managing stress, which in turn will make you more focus and motivated to deal with your daily tasks.
Even if it means freeing up 10 to 15 minutes for yourself to go for a walk, have a hot bath or just lie down and listen to music. These small breaks can make a huge difference.
11) Change your evening routine
I used to struggle from severe insomnia, every night taking a couple of hours to fall asleep and waking up every hour or so throughout the night.
The change that had the biggest impact on improving my sleep was implementing a rule where I turned off all electronics 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
That email or social media status will still be there in the morning, and this action will stop you from risking reawakening your brain and putting it into ‘work’ mode by checking right before bed.
12) Learn to meditate or do yoga
If you struggle with sleeping or managing stress these activities could be a great addition to your daily routine to help you relax or unwind.
Yoga also burns a surprising amount of calories and can be done anywhere from a class to your home or hotel room.
These are just some ideas for changes and strategies you can make, but the reality is that everyone is different, so there is no one size fits all answer.
Because of that it may be a trial and error process to determine what you enjoy, and what works for you.
The goal of this article was simply to get you thinking, as there will be small changes you can make that enable you to start focusing on your health.
What do you think?
As business professionals it can be tough to take control of your health, so post your thoughts and questions in the comments below about these ‘small’ changes to getting started on improving your health