Fit in Fitness to Improve Productivity

As the virtual law office enabler, it is my job to help attorneys become more efficient and productive. Generally, I do this by introducing attorneys to new software and technology that can help them streamline their practice, cut down on office clutter and make their offices more mobile.

Like many of the attorneys I work with every day, I spend a lot of time on my phone and computer. While SaaS products, apps and virtual tools help me get my job done, it’s also important to take care of my health if I want to maximize productivity at work and really enjoy my down time.

Healthy Employee = Happy Employee

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthier employees are more productive, and companies that support workplace health have a greater percentage of employees at work every day. No matter if you are a solo practitioner or a partner in a large firm, it is important for you to develop healthy habits.

In my next few posts, I’ll share a few tips on how you can keep yourself happy, healthy and productive. This week, I want to share a few tips on how to make time for fitness.

In a recent article in Experience Life, clinical psychologist, Lavinia Rodriguez, stated that the most common excuse for not exercising is “no time,” but typically, “it’s lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment, negative associations, fear or maybe self esteem.” We often have less trouble fitting in time for television, social networking, household tasks or busy work in the office. If we put off exercise, however, not only will out waistline suffer, our job performance will suffer, too.

Here are eight easy ways you can make time for fitness:

  • Pencil it in. Schedule exercise into your calendar and treat it just like you would any other meeting.I try to squeeze in at least 45 minutes every weekday, 30-45 minutes of cardio and 15-30 minutes of resistance training, plus a 45-minute Pilates class each week for core training and flexibility. If you sit at a computer for most of your day, Pilates will also help align your spine and keep your back strong.
  • Untether yourself from your desk. In the office, I try to walk around as much as possible. I have a wireless headset, so I stand and pace during calls. That also helps me avoid distractions and give my full attention to the call, not my inbox. If I need to get a question answered, I walk over to my teammate’s desk instead of emailing. It’s much nicer to talk to someone than it is to call or email them from 20 feet away.
  • Take Five. You may have a full day of brief writing, client phone calls, emails and meetings, but you absolutely can find at least five minutes for yourself. Take a quick lap around the block or get up and do 5 minutes of stretching instead of checking Facebook or playing a level of Angry Birds.
  • Add action to your meetings.Every morning, our senior team has a 15-minute meeting called “the Senior Team Stand up. ”Instead of sitting at a boardroom table, crouching over notepads, they stand-up, move around and share ideas before the work day begins. Not only does standing up burn more calories, the change of pace and endorphins spark more creative ideas.
  • Work out on vacation. Pack a portable yoga mat and find your Zen in the hotel room, toss a Frisbee around with your kids on the beach or rent a bike to check out the scenery.
  • Rise and shine. By waking up just a few minutes earlier, you’ll have more time to fit in a workout before work and feel more alert by the time you arrive to your office.
  • Create a workout plan that you can do anywhere. I found that it was money well spent when I hired a trainer to build me an easy 20-minute toning workout. I use it twice a week now, and I can do it anywhere I go.
  • Work while you wait. Instead of watching commercials or dinner spinning around in the microwave, fit in a micro-workout. I have a Pilates app on my iPhone that I use for quick workout ideas, or you could just do jumping jacks or make a few quick trips up and down your stairs.

Note: This is a 3-part series. In my second post, I’ll talk about diet, and in the third post, I’ll share a few of my favorite fitness and workout apps for smartphones.