By: Dr. Jonathan Tait – 1/29/17
Are you fried?
Or……are you energized as you reflect on what you accomplished this week, and what you will do that is even greater next week?
For many patients I see on a weekly basis in my practice, they feel more like the first. They are fried – physically, mentally, and chemically – like an overdone french fry cooked in week old oil. They need to get back on the path to health.
Rather than sprinting through their best week ever, they limp across the finish line for the work week and slump into the weekend. But the work week doesn’t end there. They are catching up all too many weekends- both on work and sleep – all because they weren’t maximally effective during the week.
This robs the precious protected time they should be spending with friends and family, recharging and repairing their body, and rolling into the next week feeling great.
It is not just patients, it was me as well, as recent as a few months back.
With a thriving business and increasing demands on my time, I began to make little concessions – an hour or two of sleep here, a skipped workout there, or sometimes not eating as healthy as I should because I planned poorly. My brain may have been telling me that those extra hours spent working were helping me get ahead, grow my business, positively impact more patient’s lives, but my body was telling me quite the opposite.
Inside, and manifesting outside, my body was no longer functioning at its peak level of performance as it was when I was consistently putting my health first. And, to no surprise, over time it was having trouble keeping up with the increasing demands. We have all been there, feeling fried out and exhausted at the end of the week, and the thought of doing it again next week!
I share this with you because I am not perfect either. Some patients who meet me think I must have some massive advantage on health that they do not, never make a mistake, eat perfectly every day, simply because I’m a physician.
Well it is true that I have spent 15 years in school and training, and another almost 7 years now in practice now (so I probably know a little bit more than their honorary “Google Doctorate” when it comes to solving their problems) what it really comes down to is choosing to prioritize your health before anything else you do.
It’s cliche, but as the saying goes – If you do not have your health, you do not have anything.
Now my health plan has changed. What I have done maybe differently than some is make intentional choices to structure my days focused first on my health and other high priorities. This allows me to live my best health WHILE my business can make the greatest impact on the people we serve.
Many hard-driving business types get this backward. They focus on their business 15+ hours a day thinking that eventually, they will be able to cut back and take the time they want to have for their family and health.
Newsflash – It doesn’t work that way. Life just gets busier. Time waits for nobody, and neither does poor health and disease if you are not taking care of yourself.
What did I do to get back on a path to optimal health and productivity?
(It started with a 4-Step Friday Formula I adapted from an article I read from Andrew Merle back in early January as I was laying out my intentions for the new year, and how to make it my best)
Friday Success Formula:
1. Block out half of your Friday, whatever half you feel more productive. For me, it is in the morning. (If you don’t have this flexibility, create it by being more efficient Monday-Friday morning).
2. Spend 2 hours working on unfinished high priority tasks – Without interruptions (no email, no Facebook, no phone, no idle chit chat with co-workers).
3. Spend 1 hour cleaning out your inbox (physical and email) – more on how to “process to zero” in a future email.
4. Spend 1 hour in creative thought and planning – Detail how you will approach the following week, ordering your highest priorities first each day of the week.
5. Leave early – If you have been productive, this is your reward. You should not feel guilty. Even 30 extra minutes head-start on your weekend with family and friends psychologically will set you up for a better weekend of rest and recovery, and a better week next week.
Easy to implement. Try this out and let me know how this helps you. I look forward to hearing about your success.
Keep pushing for the summit of better health and your best life possible.
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