It’s 9 p.m., you’ve been at the office for 12 hours, and you’re about to leave when you receive an email from your boss asking for just “one more thing.”
“Sure! I can stick around for the next hour,” you respond.
We’re all guilty of it. Women have trouble saying “no.” We feel we have more to lose by saying “no,” and “having it all” has transformed into “doing it all” in today’s modern workplace.
The effects of high rates of burnout among women are clear: A 2015 survey by Cosmopolitan found that almost three-quarters of the 750 women polled experience anxiety. More than half obsess over work, with over three-quarters regularly feeling a lack of motivation.
To manage stress, promote engagement and prevent burnout, I use the mindfulness tools taught by Life Cross Training (LIFE XT), a science-backed human performance program that increases resilience to stress and maximizes productivity.
Here are three LIFE XT tips developed by Dr. Nate Klemp, LIFE XT co-founder and author of the New York Times bestseller “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing.”
1. Master the Art of Calendar Blocking
Most of us fill our calendars with back-to-back commitments, leaving the only time to do actual work for when we’re “off the clock.” To prevent this, block off time for fully engaged, undistracted work. We call this “The Offline 30.” Commit to a set amount of time for yourself and for your work, ideally early in the day, to increase productivity.
2. Sprint and Recover
Another common trap many of us experience is what we call “workplace marathon syndrome.” We try to sustain a high level of focus and intensity for hours on end, leaving us feeling stressed and exhausted. A solution is a strategy called “Sprint and Recover,” which helps manage our mental and emotional energy. You can do this by going back and forth between high and low intensity work. To integrate this daily habit, you can use the technique we call “Notice-Shift-Rewire.”
Notice each time you feel your mental energy slipping. Shift by taking a short break, like walking or stretching. These moments of recovery will create a shift in your energy and productivity throughout the day. You’ll feel yourself start to rewire.
3. Take in the Good
Finally, take a brief pause to express gratitude. Just 10 seconds of experiencing gratitude for something in your life creates new neural pathways in the brain to help manage stress and feel more satisfied, establishing a daily reminder around a regular life event. We recommend you start by using meals as your cue. Each time you sit down to eat, use the same technique of Notice-Shift-Rewire to experience gratitude.
About Priti Patel – Chief Practice Officer
Priti joined LIFE XT as an acquired hire from her first entrepreneurial endeavor. She founded and operated MindPoint, a mindfulness corporate training program where she taught meditation to Chicago-based clients including Peapod, Jellyvision, SpotHero, Navigant Consulting and GrubHub. She began her career working in corporate finance and business development within General Electric’s Energy Division. After leaving GE, Priti discovered a new approach to life when she spent a month in silence at an ashram in the Himalayan mountains and another two months teaching English to underprivileged girls in rural India. Leaving India fully inspired, Priti went on to develop and launch MindPoint while earning her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
About LIFE XT
LIFE Cross Training is a program designed to give individuals and organizations the tools to train the skill of wellbeing. It’s based on the idea that just as we can train the body for increased fitness, we can train the mind in the habits necessary for experiencing increased productivity, focus and resilience to stress.