We often see interviews with key players in business telling all about how they plan their day. That doesn’t mean, however, that the same routine will work for us too. We have to consider our own lifestyle, plus take our physical and mental health into account when ordering our own schedule.
Mark Zuckerberg has said that he checks his phone notifications first thing in a morning. The Facebook CEO might feel he benefits from quickly getting up to speed with developments, but waking up with technology is potentially harmful. The negative effect of social media on our mental wellbeing has been shown in various studies; it can also lead to increased stress and burnout when we rely on phone screens to stimulate our brains first thing in a morning.
The CEO of Square and Twitter Jack Dorsey works sixteen hours a day – eight hours at both of his companies. This vastly exceeds a healthy amount of working hours, which reduces productivity and compromises our mental and physical wellbeing. Working for more than 48 hours per week has been shown to increase stress and the risk of heart disorders, including cardiovascular disease.
Head of HubSpot Dharmesh Shah is definitely what we would call a night owl. He regularly carries on with coding work until 2-3am, which can have severe implications from impacted sleep. We do need around eight hours a night of sleep per night, give or take, and anything significantly lower than this brings a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety – even our life expectancy can be shortened. It is also detrimental to our health to have screen time right before bed, rather than winding our brains down to rest naturally and avoiding eye strain.
Ever tried micro-scheduling? Elon Musk takes this to the extreme, with his whole workday planned in five-minute intervals. Though this could have benefits in protecting our work-life balance by avoiding unnecessary overtime, being so strict with our time could lead to unexpected stress every time we are faced with unforeseen priorities. This could cause us to over-produce cortisol, which can cause long-term damage. The stress hormone should only be present for short periods of time, so long-term stressors can lead to increased risk of issues such as mental health disorders and heart problems.
Writer and entrepreneur Joel Runyon’s TEDx talk on the life-changing potential of a cold shower has been viewed over and over worldwide; the idea being that overcoming the challenge of putting our body through this temporary trauma can jolt us into feeling highly productive and mentally prepared for anything. Cold showers have been said to help our metabolism function, boost our immune system, and moderate depressive symptoms too. This doesn’t mean that we should forgo warm showers though, which can often be forgotten with all the cold-shower hype. There’s still a lot of healing power in using warm water for aching muscles – the soothing effect of which is no doubt conducive to improved mood too. Warm showers have also been shown to increase oxytocin levels, which helps battle anxiety. Plus, the steam from a warm shower can be a decongestant for cold and flu symptoms.
Richard McVey, lifestyle coach at Bupa, said
“There are many things we can do to maintain a healthy daily routine and with that, of course, comes a healthy mind. Keeping up regular practices in our working week can help us to stay on track with all of life’s responsibilities, better manage our workloads and ensure we have enough energy to take on each day. However, we must exercise moderation and allow life to happen too; we must also apply what is best for our own bodies and lives, rather than copying and pasting the routines of others.”