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These days, it's hard being you. The weather is just starting to warm up, you've abandoned hibernation mode, and all of a sudden, you're busy. And we don't just mean Have Errands to Run busy. We mean have to run errands, work a little more than usual because a coworker is on vacation, finally fix that broken step, want to try out the new neighborhood restaurant, entertain friends who are in town, attend a wedding next weekend, maybe figure out your kids summer plans, et cetera et cetera et cetera – kind of busy. And somewhere between feeding yourself and making money you want to work out too?!
 
It's not too much to ask. And we all know your body will thank you years from now.
 
But that doesn't mean it's easy to do! We've been finagling the art of the full-time employee workout schedule for years now, and have plenty of tips for you. This is a two-parter, so check in soon for the second half of the list!
 
1) Team Sports
 
Get a group together from your office and join a league (that is, if you like your coworkers!) – it's a great way to get some activity worked into your schedule, and you might even be able to get the company to pay for it. Add to that the likelihood of a post-game hangout and you've got a really great athletic and social activity.
 
2) Teach a Spin Class at Lunch
 
This one we actually pulled directly from a recruiter in the office! She gets to work a little bit earlier to compensate for a longer lunch, and she comes back to the office afterwards totally energized. Going to exercise in the middle of the day eliminates the 3pm slump and makes you less antsy and more focused for the rest of the day. If you have a busy home life, it's easier than convincing yourself you'll exercise right after work, AND it feels a little like you're taking time out of work rather than your personal life, so you're slightly more incentivized to go.
 
3) Don't Belong to a Gym?
 
You're in good company! You've heard of book clubs, why not try a lunch time exercise club? Make the best of some free time by kicking your sedentary work life in the pants. Get a group organized and start walking up and down stairs together. Or plan to walk to a place for lunch that's a little farther than you'd normally go, or walk laps around the block while you chat about weekend plans. The most efficient way to do this is to combine your work social life with an activity. That way, you enjoy the exercise while having a group of people who push you to keep doing it.
 
What if you just don't have any hours to spare? Stay tuned for our next post, about fitting smaller exercises into your day!
 
Posted: 5/31/2017 12:55:11 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Last week we talked about how employers can get some better brainstorming out of their employees. It's their job to make sure they're motivating employees to think differently and bring it all to the table, but does that mean you're off the hook?

Nope!

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You should be the one who wants to bring the best ideas to your team, so do a little reflecting on your brainstorming strategy. If it's not working, it could be better. Honestly, even if it's working, it could still be better.

Here are some places to start.

1) Question-storm

It's easy to pressure yourself to jump to a solution, a "final" idea, the answer to all of your problems. But rather than pushing your brainstorm to a "product," embrace the process. Kick start your brain by getting it warmed up. Instead of working on a list of solutions, work on a list of questions. Every question you could possibly imagine related to what you're brainstorming. Once you hit a wall, push past it and come up with more questions.

You know how sometimes when you're stuck on a problem, the solution comes to you while you're showering, or driving to work, or doing some other unrelated task? The point of avoiding the "solutions" right off the bat is to keep your brain from strolling down the usual, worn down path, and instead spreading out your thoughts, making new connections.

2) Figure out what works best for you.

No boss is going to be able to decipher what it means if you're silent during a brainstorming session. You could be deep in thought or contemplating that movie you saw over the weekend. Evaluate the success of these sessions afterwards – are you an effective brainstormer in a group, or do you need some time to yourself.

Chances are you need a little time to let the ideas simmer. We've all been gung-ho about an idea and then later wish we'd given it more serious thought, so why not spend some time up front evaluating your ideas?

Tell your boss what works for you, and you'll find they're happy to make their team as effective as possible at brainstorming. Who knows, maybe it'll help out other, less self-aware coworkers, at the same time.

3) Walk It Off

Are you noticing a theme? The key to a successful brainstorm is to give people (and brains) some time to themselves after being bombarded with other people's ideas.

After a regular session, go out on a solo walk for half an hour. Walking gets your blood pumping just enough for your brain to get a little oxygen but without exhausting yourself. Plus, the movement of walking is involuntary enough that you don't have to pay attention, but still keeps the main part of your brain occupied so the rest of it can wander.

How do these suggestions all sound to you? Give one a try!

Posted: 5/3/2017 9:45:05 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments