Human capital is the lifeblood of all businesses and productivity gains have been anemic at best this past decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 0% change in labor productivity from Q3 2015 to Q3 2016, and only a .6% increase over the last five years combined. At the employee level, the stress-inducing, mind-numbing deluge of incessant communication and mounting workloads has led to an overall decline in mental and physical health at the workplace. According to the American Institute of Stress’s annual survey measuring workplace stress, 62% of respondents “routinely find that they end the day with work-related neck pain” and 12% had called in sick because of job related stress.
We try to convince ourselves that we can juggle five things at once and still have “extra bandwidth” left for the impending fire drill that must be extinguished before you come back to your desk and try to remember what those five tasks even were. Isn’t it ironic that we’ve adopted tech speak to assess our availability - a not-so-subtle admission that we are at the mercy of an always-on information cycle. We keep perpetuating an irrational mentality that we can keep up with the torrid grind - without sacrificing our holistic well-being. We push ourselves dangerously beyond the limits of optimal performance and into the exhausting state of perpetual hamster-wheel turning chaos only leads to one destination - complete and utter burnout.
How many times have you heard someone say, ‘If I only had a few extra hours in my day, I’d be able to get so much more accomplished.’ Have you ever dreamed of a day when you came home on time, without the guilt of unfinished business at the office, and spent the rest of the evening enjoying quality time with family or pouring your energy into new endeavors? We all wish we could somehow hack or reprogram our day, through some impossible distortion of the space-time continuum, and increase our ability to get the job done and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor.
"If you are an average-sized adult, you contain within your body no less than 7x10^18 joules of potential energy - enough to explode with the force of 30 very large hydrogen bombs... - Bill Bryson, Author
Oddly enough, we rarely look inward to find the answers to this vexing dilemma. What changes in my lifestyle should I make to start tapping my full potential? How can I start instilling habits into my daily routine to achieve peak performance? How can I start being proactive, instead of reactive, and devote more hours to innovation instead of grinding through endless tasks?
What is Capacity?
Capacity is the maximum amount or quantity that can be received or contained - our proverbial “bandwidth”. The federal government’s defines a full-time work week as “work hours not exceeding 40 hours”, yet 75% of American workers routinely clock in overtime. Not only is actual productivity stagnant, but the overhead costs for labor are skyrocketing. If the 40-hour work week is an 8 ounce glass, it simply can’t contain the relentless 12 ounce volume of work spilling over our collective desks. If a house has a crumbling foundation, you wouldn't stack more on top...unless it's a house of cards.
Many of you are familiar with the Pareto/80-20 Rule. Ostensibly, 80% of outcomes can be attributed to 20% of its causes. This not only means that $2 million in new revenue can be attributed to 20% of your customers, but 80% of productivity gains can be attributed to 20% of your elite performers. Add 10% more capacity to their high-performance output and everyone reaps exponentially greater returns. More revenue, less stress and happier employees who are eager to drive innovation and affect positive change.
Here’s three areas we analyze and optimize to maximize productivity and sustain peak performance for organizations:
1. Focus (It's Easier When You Get Some Sleep)
58% of high-performance workers are demanding more quiet spaces to focus on accomplishing their daily work loads. We take the time to quickly identify the proper balance and boundaries to set in terms of office layout, telecommuting and mobile productivity software to ensure your elite performers are enabled to thrive and innovate - not grind and deteriorate.
Rest is a crucial factor affecting focus and concentration. A recent study of airline workers, showed that even infrequent interruptions of consistent sleep patterns over a five-year period literally shrank the part of the brain that stores memory and greatly increased the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. Our comprehensive rest tools and training emphasize the importance of maintaining consistent sleep cycles and instill the habits and techniques for long-term rest and recovery.
2. Energy (Garbage In, Garbage Out)
According to a recent Gallup poll, 77% of American workers report regularly feeling burnt out and overwhelmed at work. “Burn out” is one of the most common reasons workers cited for leaving a position. Energy levels are a direct result of daily nutrition. To borrow more tech lingo, we provide the game plan for preventing “garbage in, garbage out” with workplace nutrition. Building up metabolism by taking small snack breaks throughout the day and educating employees about “superfoods” and their importance for releasing your body’s untapped energy; are just some of the tactics we tailor for boosting workplace energy levels.
3. Drive (Let's Get Moving)
By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”, and it may sound a little hyperbolic, but sadly our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are directly correlated to much higher risks for heart disease and cancer. Not only do we train managers how to encourage employees to get up from their desks and stretch throughout the day, but we also evaluate and make strategic recommendations for implementing standing desks, onsite exercise programs and gamification rewards for daily movement.
These three pillars for creating and sustaining holistic capacity are built from the bottom-up and fueled with our passion to transform a million lives by 2020. There’s boundless drive and passion pulsing through your workforce. We want to help you cultivate and focus it toward a more fulfilling and prosperous future.
If your organization is ready to start creating more capacity and boost productivity without burning out your best performers, then click here to get started.
Matt Johnson, author and President of On Target Living, travels the country as a professional speaker empowering people to feel and perform at their best. He spends his time observing people valuing their health, but the lacking the education on how to maintain, improve and take it to the next level. Matt is on a mission to teach people the system of living life with optimal health and performance.